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Mrs, Charles Friesell 




Reminiscences hy General D. J. Cook, Chief of the Eock/j 
Mountciin Detective Association. 

Compiled by John W. Cook. 

A Condensed Criminal History of the Far West. 



1897. \ 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1897, 

BY D. J. &. J. W. COOK, 

In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 
All rights reserved. 


A Hidden Treasure 13 

Capture of the Allison Gang 35 

A Cowboy's Sad Fate 43 

Denver's Last Legal Hanging 48 

The Italian Murderers 57 

Musgrove and His Gang 92 

The Exchange Bank Robbery 125 

The Hayward Murder 131 

A Dunkard Disgraced 169 

The Wall Murder Mystery 1T7 

A SUck Scoundrel 213 

A Bogus Detective's Fate 218 

The Leichsenring Robbery 233 

A Deal with the Black Hills Road Agents 237 

In the Express Business 249 

A Farm Hands Awful Crime 254 

A Half-Million-Dollar Robber 274 

A Utah Murderer's Capture 283 

A Tale of Two Continents 302 

Two of a Kind . 309 

Hanged in a Hog Pen 315 

A Tussle with the Habeas Corpus 323 

A Desperate Railroad Contractor 333 

Dealing with Strikers 346 

A Victim of Draw Poker 351 

A Horse Thief's Folly 362 

Pueblo Vengence , -- 368 

The Retribution of Fate . 381 

A Townful of Thieves - 388 

Ragsdale Gates 396 

Taken by Surprise 4C0 

A Race for Life 406 

A Dream of Death 427 

A Mexican Bandit 437 

Conclusion 440 


Robbing a Buckskin Coach 18 

The Attack on the Robbers Camp 24 

Execution of the Robbers 29 

Reynold's Map, showing location of treasure 32 

Dead Cinch Hand Cuffs 36 

Arrest of the Allison Gang 40 

Killing of Van Pelt by Officers 45 

Killing of Street Car Driver Whitnah 50 

Hanging of Andrew Green 54 

The Italian Murder 59 

Finding of the Treasure 71 

Arrest of Gallotti 78 

Arrest of Ballotti, Campagne and AUessandri 84 

Fatal Fight at Golden between Officers and Duggan and Miles Hill 103 

KiUingof Ed Franklin at Golden 108 

Lynching of Musgrove 116 

Lynching of Duggan in Denver 122 

Murder of R. B. Hayward 135 

Capture of Seminole 143 

Arrest of Sam Woodruff 153 

Lynching of Woodrviflf and Seminole 165 

Killing of Wall by Wight and Witherill •. 183 

A Buffalo Chase by Wight and Witherill 191 

Lynching of Geo. B. Witherill 210 

Surprise of Road Agents by Officer Boswell 245 

Arrest of Theo. Meyers by Gen'l. Cook 271 

Hanging of Theo Meyers 272 

Murder of J. F. Turner by Welcome and Emerson 286 

Arrest of Welcome by T. Jeff. Carr 293 

Execution of Fred Hopt at Salt Lake 299 

Hanging of Robert Schamle 320 

Arrest of John Kelly 337 

Shooting of John Doen 364 

Arrest of Bill White 373 

Lynching of White at Pueblo 379 

Arrest of Entire Male Population of Carson 393 

Arrest of Ed. McGrand 403 

Shooting of Officer Wilcox by Clodfelter and Johnson 410 

Pursuit and Capture of Clodfelter and Johnson 419 

Mrs. Ramsey's Vision of her Husbands Murder 434 


This book consists of a series of reminiscences of Gen. D. 
J. Cook, chief of tlie Roclcy Mountain Detective AssociatioD, 
which has been in existence for the past thirty-five years, dur- 
ing which time Gen. Coolc has been continuously at its head. 
He organized it in the beginning and has remained with it 
from that time until his own name and that of the association 
have become almost synonymous terms in the entire Rocky 
Mountain country, where both are known and where both are 
respected and relied upon implicitly by honest people, and 
where both are proportionately feared by evil doers of all 
classes likely to "have business" with them. The stories told 
are all true records, but while their number is quite consider- 
able they are only a portion of the thrilling experiences — 
whether his own or those of officers of his association — with 
which his mind is stored. Indeed, if Gen. Cook should at- 
tempt to even furnish a complete narrative of his own ad- 
ventures, it would fill a volume much larger than this one^ 
for his has been a life of excitement and adventure, of exposure 
and hardships, of heroic deeds and manj' narrow escapes. Be- 
ginning as the son of an Indiana farmer, Mr. Cook has by hi» 
own unaided exertions, i)laced himself at the head of the de- 
tective force of the West, and has in many ways made himself 
prominent as a useful citizen of a growing region. 

David J. Cook was born August 12, 1840, in Laporte 
county, Ind., being a son of George Cook, a farmer and land 
speculator. Receiving a moderate education, he worked on 
farms in Indiana, Iowa and Kansas until 1859. His father set- 
tled in Iowa in 1853, on the present site of Laporte, now a 
thriving city, but then a howling wilderness. Selling out to 
good advantage, the family moved to Jefferson county, Kan., 
in 1855, settling on a tract of land north of where the little 
city of Meriden now stands, on Rock creek. When the wave 
of excitement which swept the country on the discovery of 
gold at Pike's peak came, it bore him to the Rocky mount- 


ains, where be spent nearly two years in mining in what is 
now called Gilpin county, Colorado. Keturning to Kansas he 
bought a farm, but in the fall of 1861 he went to Rolla, Mo., 
and engaged in running supply trains. 

He was soon afterward transferred to the ordnance de- 
partment of the Army of the Frontier, and early in 1863 came 
again to Colorado and established the association with which 
his name has since been connected, and W'hich has so long been 
a terror to evil doers and a trusty guardian of the public 

Enlisting in the Colorado cavalry, he was in the spring of 
1864 detailed b^' the quartermaster of the Denver post as 
government detective in Colorado, and served until the abandon- 
ment of the post in 1866. He next served three years as city 
marshal of Denver, and in the fall of 1869, was elected sheriff 
of Arapahoe county. So satisfactory to the people of the county, 
of both political parties, was his administration of the sheriff's 
office, that at the end of his term he was reelected without 
opposition, and served two years longer. From 1873 he gave 
his entire attention to the detective work, holding at the same 
time the position of deputy United States marshal until the 
fall of 1875, when he was again elected sheriff, and reelected 
at the end of two years, his last term expiring in January, 
1880. In 1873 he was appointed hj Gov. Elbert, and con- 
firmed by the senate, major general of Colorado militia; was 
reappointed by Gov. Routt, and again by Gov. Pitkin, serving 
four years under each. He has served as major general for 
nine years, and has rendered efficient service in quelling riots 
throughout the state, as Mell as in recent Indian troubles. Dur- 
ing the Leadville strike, which occurred in June, 1880, and in 
which Mooney was to that city what Dennis Kearney has been 
to San Francisco, Gen. Cook was sent hy Gov. Pitkin as com- 
mander-in-chief of the state militia, and bv his efficiencv soon 
brought the rioters under subjection to the laws of the state. 
During what was known as the Chinese riot, which caused 
such disgrace to Denver on October 31, 1880, the mayor and 
sheriff called on Gen. Cook to quell the riot, after the author- 
ities had failed to do so. Gen. Cook took charge of the police 


and twenty-five special police, nearly all of whom were trusted 
members of the Rocky Mountain Detective Association, that 
he swore into service, and in a short time brought the rioters 
under subjection and caused them to disperse, after arresting 
the ringleaders and placing them in jail. The resignation of 
Mr. Hickey as chief of police caused a vacancy which the lead- 
ing business men of Denver thought Gen. Cook the most fit- 
ting man to fill. Knowing the great desire manifested in re- 
gard to having an efficient chief of police, the city council con- 
firmed Gen. Cook in that position. 

In addition to the responsible position to which Gen. Cook 
was then elevated, he has also acted as deputy United States 
marshal for the district of Colorado, to which he was again 
appointed two jears previous. 

Gen. Cook is a born detective. When asked one day how 
he happened to follow this business, he replied: "It is natural. 
I can't help it; I like it." He never received a day's training 
from any other detective in his life, and yet from the very 
beginning he took rank with the best in the country. He stands 
to-day alongside of ]Mr. Pinkerton. Indeed, many of his ex- 
ploits have far exceeded those of that justly-renowned officer 
in thrilling detail and startling climax. A hundred times in 
his life Dave Cook has been placed in positions where another 
man, under the same circumstances, less shrewd or less courage- 
ous, would have been shot dead in his tracks or eternall}' dis- 
graced. But he was ever the right man in the right place as 
a detective, and it is owing to this fact that he has passed 
thirty-five years of detective and official life on the frontier with- 
out being killed. He possesses the essential qualities of mind 
and body necessary to become a successful detective in a de- 
gree rarely equaled in one man. He is both brave and dis- 
creet. He is never afraid to strike. Xo position apjjals him. 
Yet he is cool-headed and cautious and wastes no blows — 
ventures into no unnecessary danger, and knows how to re- 
serve his strength until it is- needed most. When the time 
comes to act he acts with decision and promptness, always 
accomplishes his purpose, no difference what the odds. He is 
an excellent judge of men. He knows how to select the best 


assistants, and he "spots" a criminal nine times out of ten. 
He knows when to talli and when to allow others to talk. He 
will listen half a day to a string of surmises entirely contrary 
to his own without interposing an objection, with the hope of 
getting a clue, where other men would spoil everything by 
airing their own opinions. His memory is excellent, his pa- 
tience inexhaustible, his ability' to put this and that together 
is unexcelled, his perception is sharp, his reasoning is clear, 
his courage is undoubted and his judgment is cool under all 
circumstances. Add to these faculties the fact that he always 
deals fairly with the public; that he never fails to protect 
his prisoners, and that he is a man of fine bearing, of splendid 
figure, a face of iron on which a smile appears at home, and 
you will discover the secret of Dave Cook's success as a detec- 
tive and as an executive officer on the frontier in the Rocky 

It was when Cook was sixteen years of age that he went, 
with his father, to Leavenworth. He was a countr^'^ boy, 
roughly clad and without experience in life. His father sent 
him forward to the hotel to engage rooms. He had never be- 
fore had such a duty as this imposed upon him. When he went 
in there was no one behind the counter, but the seats outside 
were filled with the usual crowd of hotel loafers — voung fel- 
lows living in the city, who, seeing a country boy enter, con- 
cluded to "guy" him. Finding no one at the counter, he turned 
to the crowd and asked for the proprietor. The loafers were 
inclined to giggle, and as they pointed out one of their own 
■crowd as the individual sought, the country boy thought he 
observed several sly winks and heard suppressed laughter. 
Turning to the man whom he was told was the party sought, he 
asked : 

"Are you the proprietor?" 

"I am," he replied, and he and all the rest laughed. 

Then it was that Dave's insight into character and his ready 
ability to "say things that hurt" came to the surface at the 
right time. 

"I just wanted to know," he replied, "for if you are I shall 
hunt another hotel." 


The character of the laugh which accompanied the boy's 
walk to the door was quite different from that which had pre- 
vailed before. 

Mr. Cook did his first detective work three years after- 
wards, and then discovered his ability in that line. He left 
Kansas and came to the Rocky mountains in 1859, accompanied 
by a brother, their purpose being to seek their fortunes mining. 
They were operating in the placer diggings in Missouri Flat, 
between Black Hawk and Russell Gulch, and had accumulated 
$250 in gold-dust, which they discovered one morning to be 
missing. Mr. Cook remembered that a man, against whom 
no one had suspicions, however, had been around the camp 
until recently, but now found that he was gone. Contrary to 
the advice of all the "older heads," he decided this to be the 
man he wanted, and concluded to follow him. He overtook 
the fellow near Golden and made him disgorge, and, besides, 
pay all the expenses which Cook had incurred in his pursuit. 
This man was one of the very few criminals whom Cook has 
allowed to escape without placing them in the hands of the 
authorities. But in this case the offense was against Cook 
himself, and he was his own officer. The law of the miners 
of that day inflicted the death penalty for stealing only $5 
worth of any article from a miner. Cook knew what the re- 
sult would be if he took the man back to camp, and he allowed 
the promptings of humanity to prevail and permitted the fel- 
low to go free, much to the man's relief, who also knew the 
laws of the pioneer gold hunters to be more severe than those 
of the Medes and Persians. 

It was not, however, until Cook returned to Colorado, in 
1863, that he really began his detective career in earnest. He 
was engaged at first as an assistant detective for the quarter- 
master's department in the district composed of the camps at 
Denver, Fort Collins, Booneville, on the Arkansas, and Jules- 
burg. But he soon became chief of the department for the 
district, a position which he held for three years, resigning at 
the end of that time to be elected city marshal of Denver. 
During the three years of his service as government detective 
he saved the country over |100,000 worth of property, such as 


horses, mules, provisioDS and feed, which would otherwise have 
been lost, and was the means of exposing the tricks of many 
who were high in authority. His first exploit of note was 
the breaking up of a gang of horse thieves, who were plunder- 
ing both the army and the citizens, and by both of which par- 
ties he was engaged to jjerform the service. Being allotted 
to this sj^ecial work, he went to Chase & Healey's gambling 
hall, on Blake street, then a noted gambling establishment, 
and took a table and began to deal Spanish monte between 
two then notorious characters, who afterwards met death at 
the hands of vigilance committees, called respectively "Goggle- 
Eyed Ed'' and ''Smiley," whom he suspected of being at the 
head of the thieves. In less than ten days he was in possession 
of their secrets, and was able to "spot" their assistants, to^ 
arrest several aids and to recover some twenty horses, besides- 
a vast deal of other i)roperty, worth in the aggreg.ate |10,000. 
He discovered, among other things, that some of the soldiers- 
were in the habit of selling army horses to a certain saloon- 
keeper. Ten horses had disappeared, but they could not be 
traced. He procured an assistant in the person of a soldier,, 
who succeeded in negotiating the sale of a horse to this pur- 
chaser for a mere song, and was requested to deliver him at 
midnight at the saloon. Stationing himself at a convenient 
point with a companion, Cook saw an assistant of the pur- 
chaser mounted upon the horse which the soldier detective had 
turned over to him, and start off at a brisk gallop towards the 
north. Cook and his man followed at a safe distance behind, 
through the darkness, over the plains and into the mountains 
and out again, down to a secure hiding place on the St. Vrain, 
where the rider stopped, after a fifteen hours' gallop, quite 
unconscious that he had been pursued. Coming upon him Cook 
captured the rider and twelve head of army horses, which 
were grazing near b.^'. The details of other captures made at 
this time are just as thrilling as this, but this will serve as a 
specimen, and will help to explain the popularity which Mr. 
Cook soon attained as an efllicient officer — a popularity which 
a few years afterwards elected him to the city marshalship 


in the face of vigorous ox)position bv numerous contestants for 
the prize. 

A strong point Avith Gen. Cook has ever been his splendid 
capacity for organization and controlling men. This faculty 
makes him one of the most capable as well as one of the most 
popular commanders of our militia, and it has also aided him 
in making the Eockj' Mountain Detective Agency, of which 
he was the originator, one of the most efficient of the kind in 
the world. It covers Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, 


Utah, Texas, Wyoming, Arizona and California, the entire 
country north of Mexico and between the Missouri river and 
the Pacific, besides having agents in all the principal cities 
of the United States, and is perfectly organized, every detail 
being understood and superintended by Mr. Cook. Its opera- 
tions have been \ei\ extensive and its "dead certaintv'' has 
made it a terror to evil-doers. Cook has held his place at its 
head by the undisi)uted right of superiority. As good a de- 
tective as the best of his aides, he is a better commander and 
organizer than any of them. He is versatile and quick to see 
a point, and just as quick in adapting himself to circumstances. 
He knows when to smile, when to frown. He can drive steers, 
play faro or become a lawyer when circumstances demand. 

As an officer, Mr. Cook's career has been quite remarkable. 
He has almost continuously since 1866 held some office besides 
that of superintendent of detectives, which has placed him in 
positions of danger. Beginning as city marshal, he held that 
place for years, and was afterwards deputy United States mar- 
shal, sheriff of Arai)ahoe county eight years and also chief of 
police. It is doubted whether there is a parallel case in the 
country, especially in this far western country, where men are 
more often desperate than elsewhere. During his experience 
he has arrested over three thousand men. fully fifty of whom 
have been the most desperate murderers, whom he has often 
taken at great disadvantage to himself. Of all these three 
thousand he never allowed one to seriouslv hurt him, not one 
of them to get away when taken, and not one to be violently 
•dealt with when in his hands as an officer. His remarkable 


success he attributes to the observance of the following rules 
which he here prints for the benefit of young officers: 

I. Never hit a prisoner over the head with your pistol, 
because you may afterwards w^ant to use your weapon and 
find it disabled. Criminals often conceal weapons and some- 
times draw one when they are supposed to have been disarmed. 

II. Never attempt to make an arrest without being sure 
of your authority. Either have a warrant or satisfy yourself 
thoroughly that the man whom you seek to arrest has com- 
mitted an offense. 

III. When you attempt to make an arrest be on your 
guard. Give your man no opportunity to draw a pistol. If 
the man is supposed to be a desperado, have your pistol in your 
hand or be ready to draw when you make yourself known. If 
he makes no resistance there will be no harm done by your 
precaution. My motto has always been "It is better to kill 
two men than to allow one to kill you." 

IV. After your prisoner is arrested and disarmed treat 
him as a prisoner should be treated — as kindly as his conduct 
will permit. You will find that if you do not protect your 
prisoners w^hen they are in your possession, those whom you 
afterwards attempt to arrest will resist you more fiercely, and 
if they think they will be badly dealt with after arrest, will 
be inclined to sell their lives as dearly as possible. 

V. Never trust much to the honor of prisoners. Give 
them no liberties which might endanger your own safety or 
afford them an opportunity to escape. Nine out of ten of them 
have no honor. 

It will not be out of place to remark in closing, that Gen. 
Cook has never violated a confidence and never failed to sat- 
isfy those by whom he was engaged — whether private indi- 
viduals, corporations, the army officials or the public at large. 
Gen. Upton, who was the author of "Upton's Tactics," was in 
command in this district while Mr. Cook was chief detective. 
He wrote of him on a certain occasion: "Mr. Cook is a reliable 
and an experienced detective." 

The Tribune said of him when he w\as a candidate for 
sheriff in 1875: "He is admirably adapted to the office to which 


he has been nominated. This combination of good politics and 
exact fitness is the source of a great deal of satisfaction to 
all genuine and steadfast republicans. No one presumes to 
question D. J. Cook^s official fidelity and efficiency. The com- 
mon verdict is that • he has made the best sheriff Arapahoe 
county has ever had. And the people in supporting him in 
the canvass, and voting for him at the polls, support him and 
vote for him for sheriff. He will be elected to discharge the 
duties of that office, and for nothing else. And the people 
all have the certain assurance that he will discharge those 
duties ably, faithfully, promptly and honestly; that he will 
surely arrest criminals, and as surely keep them after arrest; 
that he will effectively aid in the maintenance of peace and 
order in the community, and that he will afford much sure 
protection to the persons and property of the citizens." 

He was elected sheriff in the contest above referred to, 
and after the term of office had expired the Rocky Mountain Netos 
summed up the results of his term of office as follows: 

''Money and property worth |80,000 was recovered and 
transferred to the lawful owners. The press of the city was 
often placed under obligations for valuable and timely in- 
formation. Four gangs of railroad thieves were effectively 
broken up in different parts of the state, and riot prevented on 
several occasions. Three of the apprehended criminals were 
hanged after transfer to the local authorities: Robert Shamle, 
in Georgetown, and AVoodruff and Seminole, in Golden. The 
beginning of the term was marked by the arrest of the Italian 
murderers, nine in all, and its close by the chase and capture 
of the Hayward murderers. During the four years ending at 
noon to-day. Sheriff Cook and his deputies conveyed 121 pris- 
oners to the penitentiary at Caiion, and lost none by the way. 
There was no jail delivery in Arapahoe county, nor was the 
board of commissioners at any time asked to offer one cent 
as reward for the return of fugitives. During the term three 
men were killed while resisting arrest, under orders of Sheriff 
Cook. They were Doan, at Cheyenne; W. T. McLaughlin, at 
Garland, and George Wilson, in Arizona. The sheriff and his 
force, during the term under notice, recovered 315 head of 


stolen cattle and sent seven of the tliieves to Canon. Also; 
fifty stolen horses, sending nine of the thieves to Cailon. Of 
the cattle mentioned, Arapahoe county lost not a hoof during 
the last eighteen months."' 

Indeed, during his entire career he has received many words 
of praise from press and public, and has seldom been criticized 
for any other than political reasons or because of personal 
spite which was the result of treading upon tender corns in 
the discharge of official duty. 



"It's no use, pard; the jig is up, and I'm goin' across the 
range mighty short!}'." The speaker was John Keynolds — 
miner, gambler, rebel guerrilla, stage robber and cut-throat — 
as reckless a daredevil as ever met his just deserts in the 
whole West. The person addressed was his partner in crime, 
Albert Brown, a desperado like himself, a man hardened to 
scenes of bloodshed and death, yet he brushed a tear from 
his eye as he turned to get a drink of water for the dying 

"If we could only have got to Denver, we'd have been all 
right," continued Reynolds. "I've got over |60,000 buried not 
fifty miles from there in the mountains, and I could go right 
to the spot where Jim and me buried it in 1864. But there's 
no use in me wastin' breath, for I'm to the end of my rope now, 
an' I'll tell you just where it is, so that you can go an' get 
it after you've planted me deep enough so the coyotes won't 
dig me up an' gnaw my bones." 

The dying man was sinking rapidly, but he went on: "Jim 
an' me buried it the morning before the fight at the grove on 
Geneva gulch. You go up above there a little ways and find 
where one of our horses mired down in a swamp. On up at 
the head of the gulch we turned to the right and followed 
the mountain around a little farther, an' just above the head 
of Deer creek we found an old prospect hole at about timber 
line. There was $40,000 in greenbacks, wrapped in silk oil 
cloth, an' three cans of gold dust. We filled the mouth of the 



hole up with stones, an' ten steps below there stuck a butcher 
knife into a tree about four feet from the ground an' broke 
the handle otf, an' left it pointing to the mouth of the hole." 

Reynolds fell back exhausted, and asked Brown for a pen- 
cil, so that he could draw him a map. Brown had no pencil, 
but breaking open a cartridge he mixed the powder with some 
water, and as soon as Reynolds had revived a little he drew 
a rude map of the locality on the back of an old letter. Cau- 
tioning Brown to remember his directions, he fell back upon 
his rude couch, and in a few minutes was dead. 

Brown set to work to digging a grave in the dirt floor 
of the dugout, and having no tools but a sharp stick, spent 
two days at the work. Ue placed Reynolds' body in the shallow 
grave, covering it up carefully, then carried stones and put 
over it in accordance with his agreement. As soon as Brown 
completed his task, he secured his horses and started for Den- 
ver. While he is on his wa}' thither, we will improve the op- 
portunity to relate the history of the boldest band of robbers, 
and indeed, the only party of rebel guerrillas that ever in- 
vaded Colorado, of which John Reynolds, whose death we have 
just chronicled, was the last surviving member. Before be- 
ginning the recital of our story proper, it might be well to give 
a hasty sketch of the conditions prevailing in Colorado at the 
time our story opens. 

The population of Denver in 1861 was decidedly cosmo- 
politan. The mining excitement had attracted hither men of 
almost every nationality, profession and occupation on the 
globe. On the question of secession, then the theme on every 
tongue, the people seemed pretty evenly divided. The Unionists, 
however, seized upon the opportunity, and enlisting several 
companies of militia, were soon masters of the situation. All 
suspects were then called up to take the oath of allegiance. 
Those who refused to do this were thrown into jail. Among 
those arrested were two brothers, James and John Reynolds. 
They belonged to a large class of men just upon the borderland 
of crime, working in the mines, driving bull teams, steering for 
gambling houses, in fact, turning their hands to whatever of- 
fered. Jack Robinson, a guard at the jail, was a fitting com- 
panion for them, although he had not fallen under suspicion. 



One night while he was on guard, a large party of suspects^ 
known as the McKee party, broke jail and made their escape^ 
probably through the connivance of Eobinson. At any rate 
he carried food and supplies to them while they were con- 
cealed about the city, and when they went south to join the 
rebel army, Robinson went with them. 

Early in 1864, James Reynolds, who was beginning to 
tire of the restraints of military life, little irksome as they 
were among the irregulars under the Confederate flag in 
Northern Texas, found himself at the head of a. company of 
fifty men, among Avhom were his brother, John, and Jack 
Robinson. Then, too, Reynolds had an ambition to be a second 
Quantrell, to be a freebooter, going where he pleased and 
plundering all who were not strong enough to resist. He be- 
lieved that with his company he could imitate Quantrell's^ 
famous raid on Lawrence, overrun all Southern Colorado and 
burn and sack the city of Denver, where he had been im- 
prisoned. The majority of his men were Texans, and they did 
not relish the idea of a 500-mile raid through a hostile country^ 
so that when he got ready to start, in April, 1864, he found 
that but twenty-two of his men would stay with him. Nothing 
daunted, he resolved to push forward with this small band^ 
fully believing that he could get plenty of recruits in the mines^ 
where rebel sympathizers had been plentiful enough a few years 
before. In this, as we shall learn later, he was badly dis- 
appointed, never securing a single recruit. His friend. Col. 
McKee, gave them a pass through to Belknap, and taking only 
a few rations they pushed on through the Confederate lines. 
Once through the lines they rode swiftly westward toward the 
Spanish peaks — grim beacons in an ocean of sand. When they 
ran out of food they killed their pack animals, and thus man- 
aged to subsist until they struck the Santa Fe trail. 

They encountered a band of hostile Indians, but defeated 
them without loss. A little further along the trail they met 
a wagon train which Reynolds decided was too strong to be 
attacked, so he traded a horse for some provisions. A few 
miles further up the trail they struck a Mexican train, which 
they attacked and captured. Here they made a rich haul, se- 



curing |40,000 in currency, |6,000 in drafts and about |2,000 
in coin. Taking arms, ammunition, provisions and such mules 
as they wanted, they proceeded northward, leaving the Mex- 
icans to get along as best they could. A great deal of dissat- 
isfaction had arisen among the members of the band on ac- 
count of Jim Keynolds taking possession of most of the money 
himself. A portion of the gang sided in with Reynolds' 
theory that the captain should have charge of the surplus funds, 
since he proposed to arm and equip recruits as soon as they 
reached Colorado. Accordingly fourteen of the party quit the 
gang and rode back toward Texas. 

The little party now consisted of but nine men: James 
Reynolds, John Reynolds, Jack Robinson, Tom Knight, Owen 
Singletary, John Babbitt, Jake Stowe, John Andrews and Tom 
Halliman. That night they held a council of war. It was de- 
cided to push on to Pueblo, then up the Arkansas into the 
rich placer mining districts of the South park. Here they 
felt confident of securing not only much plunder, but enough 
recruits to swoop down on Denver. They cached a lot of their 
heavy plunder, consisting of extra guns, ammunition and sev- 
eral hundred dollars of silver coin, which was too heavy to 
be carried easily. Resting their horses, they moved on toward 
Pueblo. Crossing the Arkansas at that place they rode on up 
the river to where Canon City now stands, where they went 
into camp. A man named Bradley kept a store where the city 
now stands, and Reynolds dispatched several of the gang with 
plenty of money to purchase clothing, provisions and whisky. 
He did not go near Bradley himself, as he feared that gentle- 
man would recognize him, and Reynolds was not yet ready 
for trouble. After having secured their supplies they pushed 
on to Current creek. Finding there plenty of grass and water 
for their horses, they decided to camp several days for rest 
and recuperation. 

After holding another council they decided it would be 
better to push on to California gulch (the present site of.Lead- 
ville) in small squads so as not to excite suspicion. After look- 
ing over the gulch for a day or two they decided that the 
Buckskin and Mosquito camps offered better opportunities for 


plunder. Accordingly the band reunited and came back down- 
the Arkansas, entering South park below Fairplay. They 
stopped for the night at Guireaud's ranch, and Capt. Eeynolds 
had a long talk with Guireaud, with whom he seemed to be 
acquainted. He wrote several letters to friends at Fairplay, 
and the next morning inquired of Guireaud what time the 
coach left Buckskin, as he wanted to beat it to McLaughlin's 
ranch to mail his letters. They at once set out for the ranch, 
which is ten miles from Fairplay. On the road, Capt. Eeynolds 
halted his men and informed them that he proposed to rob 
the coach at McLaughlin's. When they reached the creek be- 
low the ranch, they met McLaughlin and Maj. Demere, and 
took them prisoners. McLaughlin was riding a verj' fine horse, 
and Capt. Eeynolds at once suggested that they swap. McLaugh- 
lin demurred, but got down when Eeynolds and several other 
members of the party drew their guns. Eeaching the ranch 
the party dismounted and put out a picket. McLaughlin treated 
the men to some whisky and ordered his wife to prepare dinner 
for the gang. 

When the coach drew up, Eeynolds stepped out and com- 
manded the driver, Abe Williamson, and Billy McClelland, the 
superintendent of the stage line, who occupied the seat with 
the driver, to throw up their hands, one of his men stepping 
in front of the horses at the same time. Their hands went 
up promptly, and after being disarmed by another of the 
gang, Eeynolds ordered them to get down, at the same time 
demanding their money. Williamson resented the idea of his 
having any money, saying that it was the first time in all 
his travels that a stage driver had ever been accused of having 
any of the long and needful green about his person. But his 
talk didn't go with the bandits, and after searching him care- 
fully they "found fifteen cents, which they took. Williamson's 
eyes scowled hatred, and as will be learned later, he finally 
took an awful revenge for the outrage. They "shook down" 
McClellan with much better results, securing $400 in money 
and a valuable chronometer balance gold watch. They then 
turned their attention to the express trunk, there being no 
passengers on this trip. Halliman secured an axe to break 


it open, when McClellan oifered him the key. Reynolds re- 
fused the key, venturing the opinion that they could soon get 
into it without the key. Breaking it open they took out 
|G,000 worth of gold dust and |2,000 worth of gold amalgam 
that John W. Smith was sending to the East, it being the 
first taken from the Orphan Boy mine, as well as the first run 
from the stamp mill erected in Mosquito gulch. Capt. Rey- 
nolds then ordered Halliman to cut open the mail bags, pass- 
ing him his dirk for the purpose. They tore open the letters, 
taking what money they contained, which was considerable, as 
nearly all the letters contained ten and twenty-dollar bills^ 
which the miners were sending back to their friends in the 
East. The haul amounted to |10,000 in all, a much smaller 
sum than the coach usually carried out. 

After having secured all the valuables, Capt. Reynolds 
ordered his men to destroy the coach, saying that he wanted 
to damage the United States government as much as possible. 
His men at once went to work to chopping the spokes out of 
the wheels. They ate the dinner prepared by Mrs. McLaughlin, 
and Capt. Reynolds then announced his determination to go 
on to the Michigan ranch and secure the stage stock which 
were kept there. Before leaving, he said to McClellan and 
the other captives, that if they attempted to follow the bandits 
they would be killed, and that the best thing they could do 
would be to remain quietly at the ranch for a day or two, 
adding that they were only the advance guard of 1,500 Texas 
rangers who were raiding up the park, saying also that 2,500 
more Confederate troops were on their way north and had 
j)robably reached Denver by that time. 



They then rode away, leaving the settlers dumbfounded 
by the news. There had long been rumors of such a raid, 
and there being neither telegraph nor railroad, they had no 
means of verifying the reports. McClellan at once announced 
his determination to alarm the mining camps of their danger, 
^nd although his friends endeavored to dissuade him from his 
hazardous trip, he mounted a mule and followed the robbers. 
He rode through Hamilton, Tarryall and Fairplaj^, spreading 
the news and ts^arning out citizens and miners, arriving in due 
time at Buckskin. From there he sent runners to California 
Gulch and other camps. McClellan himself stayed in the saddle 
almost night and day for over a week, and in that time had 
the whole country aroused. His energy and determined fear- 
lessness probabl}" saved many lives and thousands of dollars 
worth of property. 

Active measures were now taken for the capture of the 
guerrillas. Armed bodies of miners and ranchmen started on 
their trail. Col, Chivington sent troops from Denver to guard 
coaches and to assist in the capture. Gen. Cook, at that time 
chief of government detectives for the department of Colorado, 
accompanied the troojjs, and was soon on the trail of the 
marauders. The news that a band of armed guerrillas was 
scouring the country w-as dispatched by courier to Central City, 
and all the camps in that vicinity were notified. Even south 
of the divide, at Pueblo and Cailon, companies were organized, 
and it was but a question of a few days at least when the 
band would be wiped out. Indeed, if there had been 4,000 


of them as Reynolds had reported, instead of a little band of 
nine, they would have been gobbled up in short order. 

Reaching the Michigan house the guerrillas took the stage 
horses and robbed the men who kept the station. Going on 
they passed the Kenosha house, stopping at various ranches 
and taking whatever they wanted, and robbing everybody they 
met. Passing Parmelee's and Haight's, they camped near the 
deserted St. Louis house, and at daybreak moved on to the 
Omaha house for breakfast. Besides refusing to pay for their 
meal, they robbed all the travelers camped around the station 
except an Irishman hauling freight to Georgia gulch. He 
gave them the pass word and grips of the Knights of the 
Golden Circle, and was allowed to go on unmolested. While 
here they found out that large bodies of citizens were in pur- 
suit, and they decided to move off the main road; so after leav- 
ing the Omaha house they turned off and went up Deer creek 
to the range. Just after they had gotten off the road into 
the timber a posse of twenty-two mounted men passed up the 
road toward the Omaha house. After awhile they saw another 
party evidently following their trail. Capt. Reynolds took a 
spyglass, and finding that there were but eighteen of them de- 
cided to fight. He strung his men out in single file in order 
to make a plain trail, and after going about a mile, doubled 
back and ambushed his men at the side of the trail. For- 
tunately for the pursuing party, they turned back before they 
were in gunshot of the guerrillas. Whether they scented dan- 
ger, or were tired of following what they thought was a cold 
trail, is not known, but it was probably the latter, as the Rey- 
nolds gang was not molested that day nor the next, although 
with the aid of his glass Reynolds saw scouting parties scour- 
ing the mountains in every direction. He saw that they were 
likely to be captured and resolved to scatter the band in order 
to escape, hoping to be able to rendezvous away down near 
the Greenhorn. 

Capt. Reynolds decided that it would be prudent to con- 
ceal the greater portion of their spoils until the excitement 
had died down somewhat. Calling his brother, John, they 
passed up the little creek that ran by their camp until they 







reached its head. Elk creek also heads near there. They found 
a jH'ospect hole which the}' thought would answer their pur- 
pose. Capt. Kevnolds took from his saddle-bags |40,000 in cur- 
rency and three cans full of gold dust, about $63,000 in all, 
leaving one large can of gold dust and considerable currency 
to be divided among the band before separating. They wrapped 
the currency up in a piece of silk oil cloth and put it and the 
cans back in the hole about the length of a man's body. Re- 
turning to the camp, Capt. Reynolds told his men that there 
were no pursuers in sight, and announced his determination to 
disperse the band temporarily, as he believed there was no 
chance of escape if they remained together. He described the 
place of rendezvous mentioned, and told them that it would 
be safe to move on down to a grove of large trees on Geneva 
gulch, a short distance below, and camp for dinner, as there 
was no one in sight. They w^ent on down and camped, and 
turned their horses loose to graze while dinner was being 

Two of the men were getting dinner, and the others were 
gathered around Capt. Reynolds, who was busily dividing the 
remaining money and gold dust among them, when suddenly a 
dozen guns cracked from behind some large rocks about 220 yards 
from the outlaws' camp. Owen Singletary fell dead, and Capt. 
Reynolds, who was at that moment dipping gold dust from a 
can with a spoon, was wounded in the arm. The outlaws at 
once broke for the brush, a few even leaving their horses. 

The attacking party, which consisted of twelve or fifteen 
men from Gold Run under the leadership of Jack Sparks, had 
crawled around the mountain unobserved until they reached 
the rocks, and then fired a volley into the i obbcn* band. When 
the robbers took to the brush, they wont down to their camp 
and secured several horses, the can of gold dust, the amalgam 
that was taken from the coach at McLaughlin's, Billy McClellan's 
watch, and a lot of arms, etc. It was coming on night, and 
after searching the gulches for a while in vain. Ihey cut off 
Singletary's head, which they took to Fairplay as a trophy of 
the fight. This was July 31, 1SG4. 

The next day Halliman was captured iil \\\r Nineteen-mile 



ranch, and they kept picking up the guerrillas one or two at a 
time until the Thirty-nine-mile ranch was reached. John Rey- 
nolds and Jake Stowe, who were traveling together, were pur- 
sued clear across the Arkansas river, but they finally escaped, 
although Stowe was severely wounded. 

The remainder of the party were brought from Fairplay to 
Denver under a heavy guard and placed in jail. They were 
given a sham trial, and as it could not be proven that they 
had taken life they were sentenced to imprisonment for life, 
although a great many of the citizens thought they richly de- 
served hanging. While the party were in jail in Denver, Gen. 
Cook had a long talk with Jim Reynolds, the captain, and tried 
to find out from him what disposition had been made of all 
the money and valuables the robbers were known to have cap- 
tured, knowing that they must have concealed it somewhere, 
since they had but little when captured. Reynolds refused to 
tell, saying that it was "safe enough," and afterwards adding 
they had "sent it home." 



About the first week in September the Third Colorado cav- 
alry, commanded by Col. Chivington, was ordered out against 
the Indians. Capt. Cree, of Company A, was directed to take 
the six prisoners from the county jail to Fort Lyon for "safe 
keeping/' and to shoot every one of them if ''they made any 
attempt to escape," The prisoners knew that they would be 
shot if the soldiers could find the slightest pretext for so doing. 
The troop was composed of citizens of Denver and vicinity, some 
of whom had suffered from the depredations of the gang. One 
man they particularly feared was Sergt. Abe Williamson, who, 
it will be remembered, drove the coach which they robbed at 
McLaughlin's. As they left the jail, Jim Reynolds called out to 
Gen. Cook, who stood near watching the procession start, "Good- 
bye, Dave; this is the end of us." He did not know how soon 
his prediction was to be fulfilled. 

The first night out they camped eight miles from Denver, on 
Cherry creek. The prisoners were given an opportunity to es- 
cape, but they knew better than to try it. The next day the 
troops moved on to Russelville, where they camped for the night. 
Again the prisoners were given a chance to escape, but were 
afraid to try it. 

The next morning they were turned over to a new guard, 
under command of Sergt. Williamson. They were marched about 
five miles from camp, and halted near an abandoned log cabin. 
Williamson now told the prisoners that they were to be shot; 
that they had violated not only the civil but the military 
law, and that he had orders for their execution. Capt. Reynolds 
pleaded with him to spare their lives, reminding him of the time 


when tlie robbers bad him in their power and left him unharmed. 
Williamson's only reply was the brutal retort that they ''had 
better use what little time they still had on earth to make their 
peace with their Maker." They were then blindfolded, the sold- 
iers stepped back ten paces, and Sergt. Williamson gave the 
order, "Make ready!" ''Ready!" "Aim!" "Fire!" The sight of 
six unarmed, blindfolded, manacled prisoners being stood up in 
a row to be shot down like dogs unnerved the soldiers, and at 
the command to fire they raised their pieces and fired over the 
prisoners, so that but one man was killed, Capt. Reynolds, and 
lie was at the head of the line opposite Williamson. Williamson 
remarked that they were "rnighly poor shots," and ordered them 
to reload. Then several of the men flatly announced that they 
would not be parties to any such cold-blooded murder, and threw 
down their guns, while two or three fired over their heads again 
at the second fire, but Williamson killed his second man. Seeing 
that he had to do all the killing himself, Williamson began 
cursing the cowardice of his men, and taking a gun from one of 
them, shot his third man. At this juncture, one of his men spoke 
up and said he would help Williamson finish the sickening job. 
Suiting the action to the word, he raised his gun and fired, and 
the fourth man fell dead. Then he weakened, and Williamson 
was obliged to finisii the other two with his revolver. The irons 
were then removed from the prisoners, and their bodies were left 
on the prairie to be devoured by the coyotes. Williamson and his 
men rejoined their command and proceeded on to Fort Lyon, 
with Williamson evidently rejoicing in the consciousness of duty 
well done. 

Several hours afterward one of the prisoners, John Andrews, 
recovered consciousness. Although shot through the breast, he 
managed to crawl to the cabin and dress his wound as best he 
could. He found a quantity of dried buffalo meat, left there by 
the former occupants, ujjon which he managed to subsist for 
several days, crawling to a spring near by for water. About a 
week later, Andrews, who had recovered wonderfully, hailed a 
horseman who was passing, and asked him to carry a note to a 
friend in the suburbs of Denver. The stranger agreed to do 
this, and Andrews eagerly awaited the coming of his friend, 









taking the precaution, however, to secrete himself near the cabin 
for fear the stranger might betray him. On the third day a cov- 
ered wagon drove up to the cabin, and he was delighted to hear 
the voice of his friend calling him. His friend, who was J. N. 
Cochran, concealed him in the wagon, and taking him home, 
secured medical attendance, and by careful nursing soon had him 
restored to health and his wounds entirely healed. While stay- 
ing with Cochran, Andrews related to him the history of the 
guerrilla band as it is given here, with the exception of the 
story of the buried treasure, which neither he nor any of the 
other members of the band, except Jim and John Reynolds, knew 
anything about. 

When he had fully recovered, Andrews decided to make an 
effort to find John Reynolds and Stowe, who, he thought, had 
probably gone south to Santa Fe. Cochran gave him a horse, 
and leaving Denver under cover of darkness, he rode southward. 
Reaching Santa Fe, he soon found Reynolds and Stowe, and the 
three survivors decided to go up on the Cimarron, where they 
had cached a lot of silver and other plunder taken from the 
Mexican wagon train on the way out from Texas. Their horses 
giving out, they attacked a Mexican ranch to get fresh ones. 
During the fight Stowe was killed, but Reynolds and Andrews 
succeeded in getting a couple of fresh horses and making their 
escape. They rode on to the Cimarron, and found the stuff 
they had hidden, and then started back over the old trail for 
Texas. The second day out, they were overtaken by a posse 
of Mexicans from the ranch where they had stolen the horses, 
and after a running fight of two or three miles, Andrews was 
killed. Reynolds escaped down the dry bed of a small arroyo, 
and finally succeeded in eluding his pursuers. Returning to 
Santa Fe, he changed his name to Will Wallace, and lived there 
and in small towns in that vicinity for several years, making a 
living as a gambler. Tiring of the monotony of this kind of a life, 
Reynolds formed a partnership with another desperado by the 
name of Albert Brown, and again started out in the hold-up 
business. They soon made that country too hot to hold them, 
and in October, 1871, they started toward Denver. 

When near the INfexican town of Taos, they attempted to 



steal fresh horses from a ranch one night, and Reynolds was- 
mortally wounded bj two Mexicans, who were guarding the cor- 
ral. Brown killed both of them, and throwing Reynolds across 
his horse, carried him for several miles. At length he found an 
abandoned dugout near a little stream. Leaving his wounded 
comrade there, he set out to conceal their horses after having 
made Reynolds as comfortable as possible. He found a little 
valley where there was plenty of grass and water, about two- 
miles up the canon. Leaving his horses there, he hastened back 
to the dugout, where he found Reynolds in a dj^ing condition,, 
and the conversation related in the first chapter of this story took 

Brown pushed on northward to Pueblo, intending to push 
his way along the Arkansas on up into the park, but found that 
the snow was already too deep. Returning to Pueblo, he pushed 
on to Denver. He stayed there all winter, selling his horses and 
living upon the proceeds. When spring came he was broke, but 
had by chance made the acquaintance of J. N. Cochran, who 
had befriended John Andrews, one of the gang, years before.. 


Reynold's Map. Star shows location of treasure. 

Finding that Cochran already knew a great deal about the gang,, 
and needing some one who had money enough to prosecute the 
search, he decided to take Cochran into his confidence. Cochran. 



was an old '58 pioneer, and had been all over tlie region Avliere 
the treasure was hidden, and knowing? that Brown, who had 
never been in Colorado before, could not possibly have made so 
accurate a map of the locality himself, agreed to fit out an 
outfit to search for the treasure. They took the map drawn by 
Reynolds while dying, and followed the directions very carefully, 
going into the park by the stage road over Kenosha hill, then 
following the road down the South Platte to Geneva gulch, a 
small stream flowing into the Platte. Pursuing their way up the 
gulch, they were surprised at the absence of timber, except young 
groves of ''quaking asp,"' which had aiJjiarently grown up within 
^ few years. They soon found that a terrible forest fire had 
swept over the entire region only a short time after the outlaws 
were captured, destroying all landmarks so far as timber was 

They searched for several days, finding an old white hat, 
supposed to be Singletary's, near where the}^ supposed the battle 
to have taken place, and above there some distance a swamp, 
in which the bones of a horse were found, but thev could not 
find any signs of a cave. Kunning out of provisions they re- 
turned to Denver, and after outfitting once more returned to the 
search, this time going in by way of Hepburn's ranch. They 
found the skeleton of a man, minus the head (which is preserved 
in a jar of alcohol at Fairplay), supposed to be the remains of 
Owen Singletary. They searched carefully over all the terri- 
tory shown on the map, but failed to find the treasure cave. 
Cochran finally gave up the search, and he and Brown returned 
again to Denver. 

Brown afterward induced two other men to go with him on 
a third expedition, which proved as fruitless as the other two 
trips. On their return. Brown and his companions, one of 
whom was named Bevens and the other an unknown man, held 
up the coach near Morrison and secured about $3,000. Brown 
loafed around Denver until his money was all gone, when he 
stole a team of mules from a man in West Denver, and skipped 
out, but was captured with the mules in Jefferson county by 
Marshal Hopkins. Brown was brought to Denver and put in 
jail, while Gen. Cook was serving his second term as sheriff. 


When Sheriff Willoughby took charge in 1873, Brown slipped 
away from the jailer and concealed himself until he had an op- 
portunity to escape. He went to Cheyenne, and from there to 
Laramie City, where he was killed in a drunken row. 

Gen. Cook secured Brown's map, and a full account of the 
outlaw's career substantially as given here, and although he has 
had many opportunities to sell it to parties who wished to hunt 
for the treasure, he declined all of them, preferring rather to 
wait for the publication of this work. There is no question but 
that the treasure is still hidden in the mountain, and, although 
the topography of the country has been changed somewhat in 
the last thirtj^-three years by forest fires, floods and snow-slides, 
some one may yet be fortunate enough to find it. 



Frank A. Hyatt, of Alamosa, Colo., assistant superintendent 
of the Rocky I^Iountain Detective Association for the district 
embracing Arizona, New Mexico and southern Colorado, has a 
greater string of captures of criminals and desperadoes to his 
credit than any other officer in that section. He served three 
years as city marshal of Alamosa, when that town was accounted 
one of the toughest places in the Southwest, and has been for 
twenty years deputy sheriff of Conejos county, Colorado. The 
people of that section have learned to appreciate his worth, and 
when desperate criminals are to be taken Frank Hyatt is the 
first man called upon. Plain, modest and unassuming, Mr. 
Hyatt does not pose as a man-killer, although he has more than 
once taken his life in his hands in desperate encounters with 
criminals, and has been compelled to take human life to save 
his ow^n. His rule has been to capture his men by strategy, 
leaving the law to deal justice to them, rather than to kill them 
in trying to make arrests. He is still deputy sheriff of Conejos 
county, and his name is as much of a terror to evil-doers as of 
old, although he does not employ as much of his time in hunt- 
ing bad men as he did in the early '80's. In fact, the bad men 
have learned to shun his section pretty carefully. 

Mr. Hyatt is engaged in the manufacture and sale of a pat- 
ent handcuff, the best thing of the kind made, of which he is also 
the inventor. It is known as the "Dead Cinch," and once it is 
snapped on a prisoner he can not escape. Give him the key 
and he can not unlock it; still his hands have more freedom 



than with the old-stjle handcuff. One hand can be loosened 
to allow the prisoner to feed himself, while the other is held 


fast in its grip. It is almost indispensable to officers, who have 
charge of desperadoes, or even of the insane, as hundreds of 
sheriffs, policemen and other officers scattered over Colorado, 
New Mexico, Arizona and Utah can attest. 

One of Mr. Hyatt's greatest exploits was the capture of the 
Allison gang of stage robbers in 1881, shortly after he became 
a member of the association. This gang was composed of Charles 
Allison, Lewis Perkins and Henry Watts. Allison was a Ne- 
vada horse thief, who had escaped from Sheriff Mat. Kyle, of 
Virginia City, while that officer was conveying him to the state 
penitentiary at Carson City, after his conviction and sentence 
for ten 3'ears, in 1878, by jumping from the train. He made his 
escape and came to Colorado. In some way he ingratiated him- 
self into the good opinion of Sheriff Joe Smith, of Conejos county, 
and was made a deputy sheriff. For a time he performed the 
duties of his position very satisfactorily, but he finally drifted 
into the holdup business, while still a deputy sheriff, with Per- 
kins and Watts as his partners. 

Alamosa, in the spring of 1881, was the terminus of the 
Denver and Rio Grande railroad, and stages ran from there in 
nearly every direction. This afforded a fruitful field for the rob- 
bers and in less than a month they had robbed five coaches, 
securing plunder worth several thousand dollars. Emboldened 
by their successes, they decided to operate on a larger scale, 
and riding into Chama, X. M., they terrorized the inhabitants 
by firing off their revolvers. When most of the inhabitants had 


sought places of safety, they went through the stores at their 
leisure, taking all the money they could find and what other 
^ stuff they wanted. A few days later they repeated the experi- 
ment at Pagosa Springs, Colo., and were again successful. 

By this time the people were thoroughly aroused. Gov. 
Pitkin offered $1,000 reward for the capture of Allison, and |2o0 
each for the other two, and the stage company offered an addi- 
tional |250, which last, we may remark parenthetically, was 
never paid. Notwithstanding the heavy rewards offered, no one 
seemed to care about hunting up the outlaws. They were known 
to be well armed and equipped, and it was thought that as they 
would in all probability be lynched if caught, they would not 
surrender, preferring rather to die fighting. Judge Hayt, now 
chief justice of the state supreme court, was at that time district 
attorney for the twelfth district, with headquarters at Alamosa. 
He sent for Hyatt and asked him if he would not go after the 
robbers if he would issue a warrant. He replied that while 
everybody thought they couldn't be taken, and that he was only 
a young and inexperienced officer, he would do his best. 

Hayt issued the warrant, and Hyatt secured the services 
of Hank Dorris, an old ranchman, on whom he could rely; Miles 
Blaine, an Alamosa saloon keeper, and Cy. Afton, a painter, 
and at once started after the gang. It was soon learned that 
they had gone almost due south from Chama, and Hyatt divined 
immediately that they had gone to Albuquerque, N. M. Putting 
his men on the train, they all rode to Espaiiola, the end of the 
road, and from there they went by stage on to Santa Fe, and 
then took the train for Albuquerque. Hyatt felt sure that the 
robbers would cross the Rio Grande at that point, so he put 
his men to guarding the bridge, while he inquired about town 
to learn whether they had already passed through or not. He 
could find no traces of them, so he concluded that they had not 
yet reached the city. After waiting all day and all night, Hyatt 
decided to leave his men there, and go back up the road himself 
to Bernalillo, eighteen miles above, to look for them there. 

Hyatt got off the train at Bernalillo and went into a res- 
taurant to get breakfast, and while he was eating who should 
walk in but the verv men he was after I Thev set their three 


Winchesters by the door, and as they seated themselves at the 
table Allison drew his two revolvers from his belt and laid them 
on his lap. 

It was a trying moment. Allison had been slightly ac- 
quainted with Hyatt, while they were both serving as deputy 
sheriffs of Conejos county, and had the detective given a sign 
of recognition would have shot him dead before he could reach 
a gun. Hvatt's face remained as immovable as that of the 
Sphinx. He simply looked up, said ''Good morning, gentlemen," 
and weut on nonchalantly eating his breakfast. 

His conduct disarmed the suspicions of the men, and when 
he had finished his meal he walked out as unconcernedly as if 
there were no stage robbers within a thousand miles. He went 
to the depot, where he could watch their movements, and when 
they had come out and rode off southward sent a dispatch to 
his assistants at Albuquerque to meet them on their way, and 
telling them that he would follow on horseback. Then he went 
to looking for a horse. There was none to be had. Finally an 
old Mexican drove in with two fine horses hitched to a wagon. 
After some parley, he agreed to furnish a horse and go with 
Hyatt for $100. They set out and followed the robbers, keeping 
within sight of them, until they stopped about two miles from 

Meanwhile they had seen no signs of Dorris, Blaine and 
Afton, who should have met them before this. Hyatt and the 
Mexican cut across toward town and found their men just sad- 
dling up to start, having only just then received the telegram. 
The robbers had camped within sight of town, and Hyatt thought 
they might be decoyed into town and taken without bloodshed. 
He knew that somebody would be killed if they attempted to 
capture them in their camp. 

At this juncture, Jeff Grant, a liveryman, volunteered to 
go out to the robbers' camp and try to bring them in. He got on 
a bareback horse, and pretended to be looking for horses that 
had strayed off. He went up to the camp, inquiring about horses, 
and finally struck up a conversation with them. Allison told 
him they were on their way to Lincoln county, N. M., Grant 
fell in with the idea at once, and told Allison that he wanted 


















to go down there himself about the 19th of June (this was Sat- 
urday, tlie 17th), and would like to have them wait and go with 
him. Thej claimed they were short of funds, but Grant told 
them that he owned a livery stable, and that it should not cost 
them anything to stay over a couple of days and rest up. He 
added that the reason he wanted them to go with him was that 
he was going to take down a string of race horses and quite a 
sum of money to back them with, and as the country was in- 
fested with thieves and desperadoes, he did not like to go alone. 

This decided the robbers. Here was a good chance to rest 
up their jaded animals at some one else's expense, and also a 
prospect of some very good picking afterward. Of course, they 
would wait and go along with him if that was the case. 

Pretty soon Hyatt and his men saw the four men come rid- 
ing into town. They hastily concealed themselves in the barn, 
Hyatt climbing into the hay mow, and the others getting back 
in the mangers. They had but a minute to wait. The men rode 
into the barn, dismounted, and Grant led the horses back. 

The three men stood close together. "Throw up your 
hands!" commanded Hjatt. They hesitated a moment, but when 
they caught the gleam of a Winchester only a few feet from their 
heads, three pairs of hands shot up instanter. They were dis- 
armed and put in chains in a few moments, and telegrams were 
sent out announcing their capture. 

Some of the local authorities were disposed to interfere in 
the case, and to avoid any trouble in getting a requisition, Hyatt 
agreed to turn over the |500 reward offered by Gov. Shelton of 
New Mexico to them. It was a cowardly holdup, but Hyatt 
couldn't well help himself, as the big end of the reward was 
offered by Gov. Pitkin, and he had to get the prisoners to Colo- 
rado in order to get it. 

They were allowed to depart with their prisoners, and in 
due time reached Alamosa without further incident. They placed 
them in jail, and Hyatt, almost worn out with loss of sleep, 
went home and went to bed. In a few minutes he was awak- 
ened by a messenger from Mayor Broadwell saying that a mob 
was being formed to take the prisoners from the jail and lynch 
them. Hvatt at once gathered a crowd of his friends, among 


whom were Judge Hayt, Mayor Broadwell, Hon. Alva Adams, 
now governor of Colorado, and a number of others, and took the 
prisoners from the jail, put them in a caboose with an engine 
attached, which the mob had provided to take them outside of 
town before stringing them up, and signalled to the engineer to 
pull out, with an angry mob of several hundred following. 

They escaped from the mob, and the next day the three pris- 
oners were placed behind the bars of the Arapahoe county jail 
at Denver. Gov. Pitkin promptly paid Mr. Hyatt the |1,500 
reward, and gave him |50 out of his own pocket. 

When the excitement had partially subsided the three men 
were taken back to Conejos, the county seat, tried, convicted, 
and sentenced to the jten for thirty-seven years each. 

Perkins was pardoned out after having served eight years, 
and is now running a big saloon and gambling hall at Trinidad, 
and is supposed to be worth at least |25,000. Allison was par- 
doned after having served ten years, and is now tending bar in 
a Butte City, Mont., saloon under an assumed name. Watts, the 
third member of the gang, was pardoned out at the same time 
Allison was let out, and afterward joined a band of train robbers 
and was killed in Arizona about tv70 years ago. 



Johnny Van Pelt, a cowboy, who used to make his head- 
quarters at Alamosa, was as reckless a lad as ever punched 
cattle in southern Colorado, a region particularly known for 
its tough characters, and while there was nothing exceptionally 
bad in his make-up, his recklessness and his desire to help a 
friend out of trouble cost him his life, and very nearly resulted 
in the death of two brave officers. 

William Morgan, an old acquaintance of Van Pelt's, was 
in jail in Buena Vista, charged with the murder of his father- 
in-law. He managed to get word to Van Pelt in some way that 
he was in jail, asking him to assist him in escaping. Van Pelt 
at once quit work, and getting a couple of saddle horses, he 
helped Morgan to break jail, and the precious pair rode south- 
ward, intending to go to Old Mexico. They traveled on down the 
valley until they reached Hank Dorris' ranch, fourteen miles 
above Alamosa. Dorris had known Van Pelt, and their idea in 
stopping there was to borrow some money. He was not at home, 
and they staid around two or three days waiting for his return, 
sending word by one of his friends that they were there waiting 
t;o see him. Shortly after their arrival at the ranch. Marshal 
Frank Hyatt, of Alamosa, received a telegram from Sheriff J. J. 
Salla, of Buena Vista, offering |50 reward for the capture of 
Morgan and Van Pelt. He kept a close look-out for a day or two, 
when he happened to run across his old friend, Dorris, of whom 
he made inquiries as to whether any one answering their de- 
scription had been seen up the valley. Dorris was surprised to 
learn that Van Pelt was a fugitive from justice, and telling 


Marshal Hyatt that he had just received word from his ranch 
that they were there waiting for him, volunteered to go out and 
help the officer get them. Dorris was sitting on his horse and 
Marshal Hyatt was just going after his own animal when Van 
Pelt rode up and tied his horse in front of the postoffice. He 
spoke pleasantly to the two officers, and when he had tied his 
horse, stepped up and shook hands with the marshal. As he did 
so the marshal said, "Johnny, I guess I will have to hold you 
awhile." Van Pelt jumped back, and drawing a revolver from 
each overcoat pocket leveled them at the marshal's breast. 

Although the desperado had the drop on him, the brave 
officer never flinched. He dared not attempt to draw a gun, so 
he decided to talk Van Pelt out of shooting. Looking him 
straight in the eye, he said: '^Don't shoot, Johnny; you haven't 
done anything to shoot me for." Van Pelt, his eyes still glaring 
with savage hate, evidently decided not to add cold-blooded 
murder to his crimes, but keeping the officer covered, commenced 
backing away to where his horse was tied. Just then Dorris, 
who had slipped off his horse while the parley was going on, 
grabbed Van Pelt from behind. The desperado jerked loose from 
Dorris, and, whirling around, fired at him, the ball cutting 
through his coat and vest and cutting a cigar in his vest pocket in 
two, but doing no serious damage. He then turned and fired at 
Marshal Hyatt, who had torn his overcoat open and gotten his own 
gun by this time. Then began a three-cornered battle — Van Pelt 
retreating toward his horse, and firing as he went, with the two 
officers following closely, and keeping up a fusillade of bullets. 

When Van Pelt reached the telegraph pole where his horse 
was tied, he took shelter behind it, and commenced to untie his 
horse with his left hand, while he kept shooting with his right. 
Just as he got his horse untied, Hyatt and Dorris both fired, 
and both shots took effect, one entering the breast and the other 
smashing his thigh. He dropped his remaining gun, let go his 
horse, and still holding to the pole, sank slowly to the earth, 
saying "I'm killed." In twenty minutes he was dead. 

Leaving the coroner to take charge of Van Pelt, Hyatt and 
Dorris hurriedly mounted their horses and started for the lat- 
ter's ranch to secure Morgan. Arriving at the ranch, they found 



Morgan busy getting supper, having unbuckled his belt contain- 
ing his revolvers and thrown it on a lounge. At Hyatt's com- 
mand, he put up his hands with alacrity. It was but the work 
of a few minutes to tie him securely, and Marshal Hyatt was soon 
on his way back to Alamosa with the fugitive. 

But little else remains to be told. The verdict of the cor- 
oner's jury was that the officers had killed Van Pelt while in 
the discharge of their duty. Thomas O'Connor, a shoemaker, 
who stuck his head out of the shop door when the shooting be- 
gan, was struck in the cheek by a glancing bullet, but was not 
seriously injured. Morgan, the man who caused all the trouble, 
was taken up to Buena Vista, tried for the murder of his father- 
in-law, convicted, and sentenced to the penitentiary for eight 
years. People generally thought he should have been hung, as 
he was the cause of at least three deaths. After her husband's 
murder, his mother-in-law died of grief, and Van Pelt, as has 
been related, was killed while trying to help the murderer es- 



The murder of Street Car Driver Joseph C. Whitnah by the 
two negroes, Green and Withers, is noted not only for the cold- 
blooded nature of the crime, but for the swift retribution which 

Whitnah was shot dead by Andy Green, a negro tough, on 
the night of May 19, 1886, in the boot of his car, at the Gallup 
turn-table at Alameda avenue, on Broadway street, in Denver. 
Green and an accomplice named John Withers, generally known 
as "Kansas" by his associates, were bent on robbery. Denver 
did not then have her splendid system of cable and electric 
cars, but the old-fashioned horse cars in a measure filled their 
place. These cars carried no conductor, the passenger simply 
depositing his fare in a little box in the front of the car in 
sight of the driver, who also carried a box containing change 
for the accommodation of such passengers as might not have 
the requisite nickel. Sometimes the driver would have as much 
as |20 or |25 in his possession — scarcely enough to tempt the 
average highwayman. 

About 10 o'clock on the night of the murder, several par- 
ties living in the vicinity of the turn-table heard a shot, then 
a scream, and then another shot. A number of men ran to 
the scene of the shooting, but Whitnah, the driver, was dead 
when they reached him. One or two of them had seen a man 
running from the scene immediately after the shooting, but 
whether he was white or black they could not tell. 

The police soon arrived, but not a single clue to the per- 













petrators of the dastardly crime could be obtained. What made 
the case all the more difficult was the total absence of any ap- 
parent motive for the crime. The money box had not been 
touched, and the young man, who was poj^ular and well liked 
by every one, was not knoAvn to have an enemy in the world. 
Another thing which greatly complicated the case, was the 
number of robberies and holdups that occurred the same night, 
and the officers vainlv tried to connect this crime with some 
of the others. 

Since there was apparently no attempt at robbery, many 
people believed that there was a woman in the case, and 
Sheriff Cramer and his deputies went so far as to assert they 
had positive evidence that the crime had been committed by 
one of the men who was first on the scene, a blacksmith by 
the name of F. O. Peterson. He was held by the coroner's jury 
for several days — long enough for the actual murderers to have 
escaped had they chosen to do so — but was finally discharged, 
there being not a particle of evidence against him. 

Gen. Cook had taken a great deal of interest in the case 
from the start. Whitnah had formerly been employed by him 
on his ranch near Denver, and as he was an honest, industrious 
and inoffensive young man. Gen. Cook was very anxious to 
have his murderer caught and fjunished. Although not con- 


nected with either the sheriff's officp or the police department 
at the time. Gen. Cook had gone quietly to work making in- 
quiries on his own account, having confidence in the old adage, 
"Murder will out." He soon learned that a negro named Larry 
Foutz who hung out at a very disreputable Larimer street 
saloon, had been dropping a hint or two to his associates that 
he could tell a whole lot about the mysterious murder if he 
chose, and at once had him brought to the office of the Rocky 
Mountain Detective Association. Foutz did not deny having 
knowledge of the crime, but wanted to be assured by Gov. 
Eaton personally that he would receive the |500 reward which 
had been offered for the arrest of the murderer in case he 
gave information that would lead to the arrest of the guilty 
parties. Gen. Cook at once took him to the governor, who gave 
him the assurance asked for, and Foutz immediately put Gen. 


Cook into possession of the principal facts in the case, and 
(inabled him to arrest the murderers within a very few minutes. 

Foutz's story was to the effect that he had talked to 
Green that evening at the saloon, and that Green had proposed 
that Foutz and '^Kansas" Withers should go out with him and 
rob a street car driver. Foutz seemed to consider the proposi- 
tion very favorably, but got very drunk before they got ready 
to start and was left behind. He talked to Green the day after 
the killing, and Green told him that the reason they killed 
Whitnah was that he did not throw up his hands when com- 
manded, as he was turning his car. Green fired a shot to scare 
him, and he gave a couple of loud screams. Green then stepped 
closer and shot him through the body, and he immediately fell 
back dead. Withers was to have secured the money box, but 
when the shooting occurred he ran like a deer. Green heard 
a man coming and he followed Withers. 

Gen. Cook lost no time in arresting the two men. He went 
to Chief of Police Hogle and found that Green, who had been 
arrested and fined for carrying concealed weapons a few days 
before, was still on the chain gang in North Denver. The 
patrol wagon was secured, and in less than an hour Green was 
in jail. Withers was carrying a hod on a new building going 
up on Arapahoe street. He was at once taken into custody, 
and confessed his share in, the crime before the jail was reached. 
His confession did not differ materially from the story al- 
ready related by Foutz, except that he insisted that he was 
not a party to the killing, having told Green that he would not 
go along if there was to be any shooting. 

Green was much more reticent and could not be induced to 
talk for a long time. Being told that Withers had already con- 
fessed he at length decided to tell his side of the case. He 
had nothing new to tell as the detectives already knew he was 
the man who had committed the cruel murder. He denied that 
he had gone out there with any intention of killing the driver, 
but simply fired the first shot to scare him, and as the ball 
was afterward found lodged in the top of the car, his storj' 
was undoubtedly true. He said that Whitnah's screams scared 
him, and he made another step or two towards him and then 














fired to kill him, as he said, "To stop his d d racket." He 

then ran after Withers. They then went to their homes and 
went to bed, and had it not been for Foutz's talk might never 
have been suspicioned of the crime. 

A mob of several hundred men and bojs was formed the 
night after their capture, to break into the jail and hang the 
two negroes, but lacking leadership it was soon dispersed by 
the police. 

Public excitement and the danger of lynching induced the 
calling of a special grand jury, the indictment of Green and 
Withers and a speedy trial. They were tried separately. On 
the 22d of June the trial of Green opened. Two days were 
spent empaneling a jury, and on June 25 he was convicted of 
murder in the first degree, and sentenced to be hanged on July 
27. Withers was allowed to plead guilty to murder in the sec- 
ond degree, and was sentenced to the state penitentiary at 
Canon City for life, where he is now serving his time, having 
made two or three ineffectual attempts to secure a pardon. 

The efforts of Green's attorneys to secure a new trial were 
unsuccessful, and he was executed on the day set by Judge 
Elliott, July 27. The scaffold, which was a very simple affair 
of the "twitch up" variety, was erected in the bend of Cherry 
creek, directly east of the Smith chapel, West Denver, and 
about midway between Broadway and Colfax Avenue bridges. 
The execution was public and free to everybody, and the crowd 
was estimated at 15,000. Green stepped upon the low scaffold 
in an easy, careless manner, fully conscious of the fact that 
he was entertaining the crowd of his life, and deriving no small 
amount of satisfaction therefrom. He was permitted by Sheriff 
Cramer to deliver a long rambling speech, in the course of 
which he advised everybody to beware of drink and gambling 
halls, which he said had led to his ruin. At the conclusion of 
his speech the black cap was adjusted, and at 2:20 Sheriff 
Cramer cut the rope. Green's body rose slowly into the air 
and his limbs twitched convulsively for several minutes. At 
the end of twenty-five minutes he was pronounced dead, and 
his body was taken down and delivered to the undertakers. The 
autopsy disclosed the fact that his neck was not broken. 



Thus ended the career of as depraved a wretch as ever ex- 
isted. According to the story of his life, written by him for a 
local paper, his thieving prox>ensities were early developed, as 
was his disregard for human life. At the age of fourteen he 
had shot his father while the latter was chastising him for a 
theft, inflicting a severe wound. After that he had served sen- 
tences in innumerable jails and workhouses for various crimes, 
principally stealing. He had also served a five-year term in 
the Missouri penitentiary for a burglary committed at Lexing- 
ton, a little town near which he was born. The trial and exe- 
cution of Green scared hundreds of petty crooks away from 
Denver, and for a long time afterward the city was almost 
entirely free from holdups and burglaries. 



One of the most horrible crimes that ever cast a silhouette 
athwart the darkened pages of criminal history was revealed 
to the startled citizens of Denver on the 21st day of October, 
1875, consisting in the discovery of what afterwards became 
known throughout the state as the Italian murders. The revela- 
tion of the crime, the obscurity of the victims, the length of 
time elapsing between the perpetration and the discovery, the 
mystery enveloping the deed with an apparently impregnable 
mantle, and the swift following detection and apprehension of 
the perpetrators, all combine to form the basis for one of the 
most interesting narratives ever found in criminal or detective 

For several days prior to the finding of the bodies of the 
victims, those residing in the vicinity of No. 2334 Lawrence 
street had detected the presence of a stench, faint at first, but 
daily increasing, leading to a suspicion that the body of some 
animal had been permitted to remain there long after life was 
extinct. The smell from this supposed carcass becoming more 
obnoxious, the investigation which eventually revealed the 
crime, that all were surprised to find had been committed, was 

Accompanied by an oflRcer, persons residing in the neigh- 
borhood began a search, and their attention was directed to'an 
unoccupied frame building, where countless flies swarmed 
around the windows, causing a suspicion that within the portals 
of the house reposed the object sought. 

The building contained three rooms, the front and larger 


one communicating with those in the rear by a hall, while a 
rude, unfinished cellar had been excavated below. The door 
was unlocked, and pushing it open, the room was gained, when 
it became apparent that crime and not carelessness would be 

Evidences of a sanguinary encounter were but too plainly 
visible. There was blood on the floor, and a dozen pools were 
yet bright and crimson. On the walls were great splotches of 
blood, and in the hall leading to the kitchen the tell-tale im- 
prints of bloody hands seemed to point with grim and ghastly 
fingers the way to the crime. 

The house was destitute of furniture, but in the middle 
apartment stood a scissor-grinding machine, over which had 
been thrown a torn and soiled blanket, revealing the occupation 
of some of the late inmates. Following along the hall, where 
a crimson trail proved that some heavy and bleeding object 
had been dragged, the kitchen was reached. This room was 
very dirty, and contained a broken stove, a wash boiler, a box, 
a dilapidated valise and some fragments of food. Here a trap- 
door was found, and when it was opened a rush of efduvia 
nearly overpowered those present. A rickety stair led to the 
dark hole beneath. A candle was procured, and its fitful flame 
exposed a sight that passes all description. 

Under the stairs, in a dark, filthy corner, lay four decaying 
human bodies, piled two on two, with all four heads touching 
the wall. Over them had been thrown some dirty mattresses 
and blankets, and on these a miscellaneous assortment of traps 
piled on as weights. At the feet of the bodies lay three large 
harps, two violins, a scissor-grinding machine, a hatchet, a 
hammer and several dirks. The edge of the hatchet was be- 
smeared with blood, while to the handle still clung a tuft of hair, 
showing that the tool had been used in the bloody murder. The 
dirks were blood-covered from point to hilt. On the harp- 
strings and on the violins and also on the stairs, the life-tide 
of the victims had left its gory stain, while the mattresses and 
blankets were saturated with it. 

The clothing, down to the bloody shirts, had been stripped 
from the bodies of the victims, while those of the others were 


slit and rent where the cruel knives had torn their way to 
the vitals. 

But greater horrors and more ghastly sights than these 
were there. The four throats had been cut from ear to ear, and 
the sickening wounds gaped wide, like the mouth of some huge 
fish. The abdomens, the arms and the hands of the bodies had 
been cut and mangled, while the blackened faces scarcely any 
trace of humanity wore. 

The coroner was soon on the scene, and while the under- 
taker was transferring the bodies to coffins, a crowd of morbid 
sightseers assembled. The news of the discovery spread with . 
marvelous rapidity, and the throng grew larger and larger, until 
the streets, the neighboring yards and even the adjacent house- 
tops were packed with people. Men, women and children fairly 
trampled each other in their wild desire to view the bodies, 
and the officers were powerless to preserve anything approach- 
ing decorum. 

The wildest and most exaggerated stories were circulated. 
It was evident to all that a quadruple murder had been com- 
mitted, but no one knew the authors of the crime or its in- 
spiration; for while it was known that a party of Italians had 
occupied the house, no one could be found who had seen any 
one enter or emerge since the preceding Sunday. One body 
was identified by a colored shoemaker, who had repaired the 
shoes still on its feet, but aside from the fact that one of the 
victims was an old Italian called "Uncle Joe," and that the 
others were three boys, two of whom had passed as his sons, 
and the other as his nephew, little could be gleaned from the 
excited crowd. 

The four bodies were taken away in an express wagon and 
buried in the Potter's field. Still the object of the crime and 
by whom committed were things wrapped in mystery so pro- 
found that it seemed as though the final day alone would re- 
veal the awful secret. 

But all are not gifted with that insight into the ways 
of crime that comes only from long experience in hunting it 
out, and is often so marvelous that it takes the aspect of in- 
stinct. Gen. D. J. Cook, chief of the Rocky Mountain Associa- 



tion, and then sheriff of Arapahoe county, without waiting for 
any offer of reward, took the case in hand even before the cor- 
oner's jury had completed its task. With a shrewdness almost 
without parallel he had comprehended a theory of the murders, 
and had his vigilant detectives on the track of the murderers. 

The inquest developed but few facts, and these strength- 
ened the theory the keen chief had entertained. Persons were 
found who identified the remains as those of Guiseppe Peccora, 
his two sons, Giovanni and Guiseppe, and a nephew called 
Luigi, and the fact was also elicited that Filomeno Gallotti, 
Michiele Ballotti and one or more unknown confederates had 
been their former associates. 

Little was known of the class to which the victims belonged, 
for by occupation they were itinerant musicians and scissor- 
grinders, and were constantly wandering from place to place. 
No. 2334 Lawrence street had been a lounging place for some 
eight or ten of this class. 

Putting this and that together, Gen. Cook formed the 
theory that the old man and three boys had been murdered by 
the visitors for their money, although many entertained the 
idea that a free fight had culminated in the death of the weaker 
ones, and that the visitors had hastily concealed the bodies 
and fled. Suspicion pointed to a gang of Italians headed by 
Gallotti, who had occupied a shanty on lower Fifteenth street, 
and Cook soon ascertained that some nine or ten made that 
a stopping place, as shown by the registry lists of the ward in 
which the building stood. The boss of the gang was this 
Filomeno Gallotti, a man possessing some means, and the owner 
of a tin shop at that place. Antonio Dertiro, a good looking, 
fair haired boy, claimed to be his apprentice at the munificent 
salary of |150 a year, and the wily detective learned that on 
the Thursday or Friday preceding the discovery of the bodies 
this youth had disappeared. The following day Gallotti also 
took his departure. It was learned that he claimed that the 
boy had stolen some money, and that he professed to be fol- 
lowing him^ — all of which Gen. Cook pronounced "too thin." 
The tools, traps and miscellaneous plunder had disappeared 


from the shop, and none of the gang had been seen after 
Saturday night. 

While the coroner's jury was pursuing its investigations, 
Cook and his men were at work on their own clues. They had 
already become thoroughly convinced that Gallotti and his 
satellites were responsible for the murder, and determined to 
waste no time in waiting upon the verdict of the inquisition. 
They set to work to discover the extent of the conspiracy, which 
to their minds had resulted in the wholesale murder; to de- 
termine upon the participants in the first place, and in the next 
to obtain clues by which they might be hunted down. They had 
disappeared; that was a point beyond peradventure. But 
whither had they gone? This was more important to those 
who were anxious that justice should be meted out to the 
wretches responsible for the crime, the horrible evidences of 
which confronted the community. It had become quite evident 
that Gallotti had been engaged in the murder, and Gen. Cook 
was also convinced that he had had accomplices, but who they 
were and what marks of identification they bore were among 
the facts which were not known, but which detective skill was 
expected to bring to light. There was evidently much work 
to be done. All were crying for the apprehension of the crim- 
inals — the state, the county, the city, the people. But no one 
offered a reward. Calling his associates together, Gen. Cook 
spoke briefly to the point, without any flourish of rhetoric or 
waste of words. ''Boys," he said, "you know there has been a 
great crime committed here. The murderers are hardly known; 
of their whereabouts we are utterly ignorant. They must be 
brought to justice, and that is our work. There is no reward 
offered, but at this time we will not wait to ask for pay. Hunt 
the scoundrels down at any cost, and I will see that your bills 
are met. Do your duty." After a brief comparison of notes 
the men were off, this one going here and that one there, as 
Gen. Cook might direct. 

It was not long until the discovery was made that Gallotti 
had been assisted in his work of murder by several others — • 
perhaps half a dozen. A clue found here and another there 
gradually disclosed to the detectives the work before them. In 


prosecuting their investigations they learned something of the 
character of Gallotti himself. His history had been one of 
thrilling and romantic interest — fitting him especially for the 
role he had assumed as leader of the murderous band of this 
city. Back in Italy he had been a member of a band of outlaws, 
which for a score of years had been the terror of travelers and 
residents of the district in which it operated. Stolen from his 
home as a boy by these banditti, Gallotti grew up with them, 
soon became one of them, and gradually advanced in his ac- 
complishments until he became one of the most renowned of the 
gang. He was cold-blooded, cunning, self-possessed and dar- 
ing when necessary. To him no man's life was sacred. Murder 
was regarded only as a part of the work necessary to secure 
booty. Gallotti never shirked his "duty" when assassination 
was a part of it. Ultimately he was elected chief of the band 
of which he had long been virtually leader, but soon afterwards 
was compelled to flee the country-. He came to America and 
ultimately landed in Denver, where he became acquainted with 
Michiele Ballotti and others of his nationality, including "Old 
Joe" and his boys. It was further learned that the children 
who called Pecorra "father" and "uncle" were not united to 
him by any tie of kindred, but that he was merely an old padrone 
who had stolen the boys and was compelling them to work and 
earn money for him. He worked himself as a scissor grinder 
and sent the boys out as musicians, and compelled them at 
times to beg for money. When they came home at the end of 
the day, with scant earnings, he beat and abused them; so that 
they worked hard and brought many a coin to the old man. 
Pecorra was supposed by Gallotti to be rich, and adding this 
point to the knowledge which he possessed of the outlaw's 
character, Gen. Cook had no difficulty in fixing upon him as 
the leader of the murderous gang. 

Another point of more immediate interest was soon brought 
to light. In looking about, Gen. Cook learned of numerous pur- 
chases that had been made by Italians. Many such articles as 
agricultural implehients and guns had been purchased by the 
men whom he had come to suspect as the murderers. He was 
thus led to infer that it was the intention of the murderers to 


go into farming somewhere. He concluded that they would not 
risk their lives by remaining near Denver. If they had been 
going East they would not have bought these articles in Denver. 
He took the precaution to telegraph to all the important Eu- 
ropean seaports to have the men apprehended in case they 
should land, spending no small amount of money for cablegrams. 
But he was really convinced from the first that the men whom 
he sought had not gone across the plains, and that they did not 
intend to cross them. Putting this and that together he reached 
the conclusion in an instant that the men would make an ef- 
fort to escape by going south to Mexico. He also learned that 
three men, who were described as Italians or Mexicans, had 
boarded a south-bound train at Littleton a few days previous. 
He concluded that these were the men, or some of the men, 
that he wanted. Selecting the late W. Frank Smith and R. Y. 
Force, as two of the most eflQcient of his officers, he started 
them south in pursuit of the culprits. 



Meantime the coroner's jury continued its work. A verdict 
was rendered in accordance with the facts gleaned concerning 
the murders as related in the previous chapter, but beyond 
these nothing was known. The suspected men had disappeared, 
and it was shown that the crime had been committed nearly a 
week before it was discovered. Public indignation ran high, 
and it was feared that, should the murderers be captured, the 
enraged people would not brook the necessary delay incident 
to the legal trial of the fiends. This feeling culminated in the 
firing of the house on Lawrence street a few nights after the 
discovery of the crime. The firemen confined their attention 
to the preservation of the adjoining buildings, and by one ac- 
cord public sentiment allowed the building to be entirely con- 

The details of the pursuit and capture of the criminals, with 
the trials and adventures of the detectives, form a most in- 
teresting and thrilling narrative, and give an insight into the 
ways adopted by those keen men who render crime doubly 
dangerous by making the punishment of the offenders approx- 
imately inevitable. 

The manner in which the perilous and responsible duty of 
tracking the murderers was performed proves the chief's sagacity 
in selecting Smith and Force for the work. For twenty-one 
days and nights they tracked the villians. Scarcely sleeping, 
alike regardless of hot suns, cold rains or chilling snows, through 



canons, over plains, wandering through the slums and bv-wajs, 
these men of iron nerve and tireless constitution pursued their 
object until they met with the reward due their skill and per- 

Pursuant to the instructions of Chief Cook the detectives 
started south on Saturday morning after the discovery of the 
crime. At Pueblo they separated, Force remaining there, while 
Smith proceeded to Canon City. The air was full of rumors, 
many wild and without foundation, while others possessed the 
element of plausibility. It was no easy task to arrive at any- 
thing like a correct opinion by giving credence to any rumor, 
but after infinite difficulty a trail was discovered at Pueblo 
leading toward Trinidad. This Mr. Smith was averse to taking, 
and so telegraphed Gen. Cook, but the latter replied: *'Go 
ahead; the money is mine." Smith and Force at once joined 
at Pueblo and hastened to Trinidad. Arriving there they went 
to a saloon frequented by Italians, and there found some of the 
very men for whom they were searching, namely, Michiele 
Ballotti, Silvestro Campagne and Leonardo Allesandri, against 
whom there were strong suspicions, who were making music for 
the saloon loafers with all their might. After looking on for 
a moment to make sure of their game, the officers approached 
the startled musicians with drawn guns and demanded a sur- 
render, which was sullenly acceded to. Detective Smith at once 
asked Ballotti when he came to Trinidad. Ballotti answered 
quite coolly to the effect that he had been there about two 
weeks, but Silvestro trembled visibly, and seemed to realize 
that they were about to get into trouble. Being confident that 
these were the men they sought, the detectives took them in 
charge and placed them in jail. 

Up to the present time it will be borne in mind that there 
had as yet been no definite clue obtained as to the identity of 
the murderers. It is true that strong suspicion had been 
aroused, but, after all, suspicion is no proof. It remained for 
these three men to "give the whole thing dead away." When 
they were taken to jail and searched some of the money taken 
from old Pecorra's house was found upon the persons of the 
men, and when they were stripped the most convincing proofs 


of their guilt stared the officers in the face. The undershirts 
which they wore were still saturated with blood— blood which 
they confessed had flown from the veins of their victims, the 
padrone and his little boy slaves. 

The fact of the crime being once acknowledged, the men 
were very free to talk, and they not only confessed their own 
crime, but revealed the names of others engaged with them, 
and poured into the ears of the detectives the bloody story of 
the murder which they had committed a few days before in 
Denver. The same stories were afterwards repeated in Denver, 
and will be told in their proper place. The names of the mur- 
derous band, including their own, as revealed by this delectable 
trio, were: Filomeno Gallotti, Henry Fernandez, John Anatta, 
Frank Valentine, Michiele Ballotti, Silvestro Campagne, Leon- 
ardo Allesandri, Guiseppe Pinachio and Leonardo Deodotta, all 
of them being Italians except Fernandez, who was a Mexican. 

They also told a story which confirmed Cook's theory that 
the band intended to ilee to Mexico, and informed the officers 
where proof could be obtained of the facts in the case. They 
stated that not only agricultural implements had been secured, 
but guns and ammunition as well. The party had intended to 
select as a hiding place some quite, secluded valley, where they 
could make their headquarters, and whence they, as a band of 
brigands of the old Italian model, could make their forays upon 
the traveling and civilized world. They stated further that 
Gallotti and some of his men had fled from Denver, but that 
they had left confederates in the persons of Deodotta and old 
Joe Pinachio, living quietly near Sloan's lake, who, they said, 
knew of the whereabouts not only of the implements and 
munitions to be sent to Gallotti in Mexico, but also of the place 
at which was hidden away the bulk of the money taken from 
old Pecorra's house after the murder, as well. These facts were, 
of course, promptly telegraphed to Gen. Cook, who acted upon 
them, as shall be detailed in the proper place. 

Within two hours the prisoners were securely ironed, and 
the next morning they commenced the journey that would ter- 
minate in the city where they had committed the terrible 


crimes, and where the news of their capture was, even then, 
creating wild excitement. 

By 5 o'clock on the afternoon of their arrival a crowd be- 
gan to gather at the depot. The afternoon was dark and lower- 
ing, and a fitful fall of snow chilled the air. But the impatient 
crowds surged and stamped around in a vain effort to keep 
warm, determined to suffer rather than to let the prisoners ar- 
rive without their knowledge. Day was fading to chill and 
cheerless night when the train drew up at the platform. A 
wild rush ensued, but the police kept a passageway open, and 
the prisoners were soon landed in an omnibus that had been 
secured for the purpose, officers mounted the top and with Gen. 
Cook and his assistant detectives inside and an officer on the 
step, the omnibus started for the jail. Scarcely had the wheels 
revolved, ere the crowd by one great common impulse made a 
rush for the vehicle with cries of ''a rope!" "a rope!" ''hang 
them!" which were caught up and repeated until the vast array 
seemed turned into a mighty mob bent on avenging the death 
of the old man and the boys, determined on a sudden and swift 
execution of the human birds of prey, and it seemed as though 
the officers would be powerless to protect the ironed ingrates 
who trembled as they beheld the wrath of the populace. Chief 
Cook was there, and his cool and steady eye had watched the 
pulsations of the throng, and just as the vehicle was fairly sur- 
rounded he drew his revolver and ordered the leaders of the 
mob back. Detective Smith was ordered to present his Win- 
chester, which he did, and the officer on the steps also covered 
those nearest him. The crowd fell back and the driver lashed 
his horses into a run, ploughing through the crowd. Numbers 
followed, intent on overtaking the omnibus and capturing the 
criminals, while others rushed on to see the results. The tide 
swept down Blake street in a wild disordered procession. The 
driver was instructed to push the horses, and in a few moments 
the prisoners were securely locked in the jail, to their great 
relief, and to the disappointment of the crowd that had fol- 
lowed, hoping to see them dangle from the limb of some tree 
or suspended from a telegraph pole. 


Great satisfaction was felt that these wretches had beeu 
secured, and the public sentiment, which always sooner or 
later arrives at correct conclusions, could find no praise too flat- 
tering for the able superintendent and his worthy assistants. 

After hearing the news from Trinidad, and especially that 
which told of the presence of some of those who had been im- 
plicated in the murders near Denver, Gen. Cook was not idle, 
but he went to work to make investigations here. He began 
by arresting an Italian known as "Old Joe," who lived on the 
ranch near Sloane's lake, with Deodotta. Joe was placed in 
jail for a day or so. He was a half-crazy creature, and it was 
believed that he could be made to tell whatever he might know 
of the facts in the case. He was consequently informed by Cook 
that he must either divulge his secrets or submit to sudden 
annihilation. He promised to reveal everything, but when taken 
by Gen. Cook out to the place where the treasure was supposed 
to be buried, he failed to find the spot, either because of ignor- 
ance or craftiness. 

Better success was had with Deodotta. He was also placed 
under arrest, and after being told that he must die or tell where 
the money taken from old Pecorra's house had been buried, he 
promised to do all in his power to find it. He was accordingly 
taken from the jail one morning before sunrise and driven out 
to his house and told to find the treasure, no one accompanying 
the detective and his prisoner except the driver of the express 
wagon. Arriving at the place, Deodotta made a last effort to 
conceal the whereabouts of the money, and when his protesta- 
tions were doubted he crossed his breast and prayed with fervor. 
When Cook swore at him, he crawled on his knees and cried 
before him like a sniveling cu£. After digging in one or two 
places for the money and failing to find it, Cook leveled his 
gun at the old sinner's head and said to him: 

"Now find that money in just one minute or I'll kill you 
where you stand." 

There was no foolishness now. Quick as thought Deodotta 
jumped to a spot where lay a bone and where a weed was 
standing with the top end stuck in the ground, and with two 
or three strokes of the pick, brought thf treasure to light. It 


consisted of a package of money amounting to |350 which had 
belonged to the murdered man, and which was picked up and 
brought back to town by Gen. Cook, and Deodotta once more 
lodged in jail. Thus was a very essential part of the work 
performed with but little ostentation and no blow in the news- 



It must not be supposed that Gen. Cook had been devoting 
his entire attention to either the men who had been captured 
at Trinidad or those taken near Denver. He had now learned 
enough to know that Gallotti had been the organizer and head 
executor of the quadruple murder, and him he wanted more 
than any other of the gang of cut-throats. He had been seeking 
anxiously for some clue that would reveal the whereabouts of 
this wretch and lead to his capture. The most assiduous at- 
tention and the most arduous labor seemed at first likely to 
prove barren of results. At last one night, however, Gen. Cook 
was summoned to a dark side of the street by an individual, 
who poured into the general's anxious ear the story of the flight 
of the chief of the band and three of his accomplices. This 
man was a friend of the Spaniard, Fernandez, and to convince 
the detective that he spoke the truth he pulled a letter from 
his pocket, from Fernandez, bearing the post mark of Fort 
Garland, in San Luis park. This letter was turned over to 
Gen. Cook, and being lead revealed the welcome news that 
Gallotti and Fernandez and Anatta were then in San Luis park, 
making their way to Mexico by going down the Kio Grande river. 
The letter told further that they were traveling by slow stages, 
that because Gallotti had sent Valentine back to Denver on 
horseback to carry certain instructions to Deodotta and to bring 
the money deposited near Sloan's lake to him. 

This was about as good a thing as Cook w^anted. He slept 
but little that night, but devoted himself with all the intensity 


of his nature to maturing plans for the pursuit and capture of 
the outlaws. He decided to put the pursuing expedition in 
charge of Smith, who should be accompanied by an Italian who 
had taken the American name of James Lewis, and who, bv 
the way, afterwards became the notorious Arizona Bill. This 
man knew Gallotti and besides spoke English as well as Italian. 
He was known to be faithful and was considered " a happy hit." 

The two men were off early the next morning, bound for the 
southward, Smith carrying a letter from Cook to Maj. Horace 
Jewett, who was then in command at Fort Garland, informing the 
major of the mission of the detectives and requesting him to 
furnish them with whatever facilities might be required for the 
prosecution of their work. They were told to obtain army 
horses and to dress as soldiers, for Americans other than ''blue- 
coats" were then scarce in San Luis, and likely to create sus- 
picion. Armed with these and other instructions from their 
chief, the men departed upon their mission, going as far as they 
could in the cars, the Denver and Kio Grande railroad then being 
completed onlj' to Walsenburg. Leaving the railroad they turned 
their faces westward, towards San Luis park. 

After walking a few miles they secured a team of horses 
from a ranchman, with which they expected to continue the 
journey. The horses unfortunately were affected with the epi- 
zootic, then raging, and proved a source of inconvenience and 
annoyance. From one place to another through the San Luis 
valley the trail was steadily followed. At Fort Garland, Maj. 
Jewett received the officers cordially and entered heartily into 
the plan suggested by Gen. Cook, giving Smith and Lewis sol- 
diers' uniforms and a pair of government mules branded "U, S." 
Assuming the 7'ole of government officers in search of deserters, 
the pursuers continued their journey to Culabra, where it was 
hoped to intercept the criminals. But in this hope the officers 
were disappointed, for upon arriving there it was discovered that 
the men sought had gone further southward. But a point was 
gained in learning that they were on the trail. 

It was ascertained that while in Culabra, the fugitives had 
stopped at the house of a Frenchman. The Frenchman was ready 
to render any assistance in his power, and to this end informed 


the detective that the men had gone on foot about fourteen miles 
down Culabra creek. By a little sharp practice it was discov- 
ered that the Frenchman was endeavoring to aid the criminals 
and had himself lent them horses and accompanied them on the 
road towards Taos, N. M. 

Detective Smith here suddenly conceived a violent passion 
for the sheep business. His suit of blue was changed for a brand 
new one corresponding with his newly assumed avocation, and a 
broad-brimmed hat and a glittering array of jewelry completed 
the make-up of as perfect a stock king as ever proudly paced the 
soil of New Mexico. A gentleman named Thaw, who had for- 
merly been a policeman in Denver, and who was now living in 
San Luis, was called upon, and the detective's wand also trans- 
formed him into a sheep buyer, and he was at once admitted as a 
partner in the imaginary firm. The interpreter, Lewis, was also 
given a new role, or rather a double character. He was to ride 
along the road and inquire for his "partners," describing the 
other Italians whom they were pursuing, and at various places 
he would also claim to be connected with the firm of sheep pur- 
chasers as an assistant. At Sierra de Guadaloupe they passed 
one night, and Lewis lost no time in spreading the news that the 
detective and his partner were men of means, traveling through 
the country for the purpose of buying sheep. The entire popula- 
tion turned out to see them, and by cautious inquiries they 
learned that the murderers had undoubtedly gone toward Taos. 

Before daylight the officers were on the road again, and by 
rapid driving reached Taos during the afternoon. Repairing to 
the only hotel in the place, the detective again "talked sheep," 
and soon gathered around a good share of the population, nearly 
all of whom had sheep to exchange for the ducats the detective 
was supposed to possess. Here it was learned that there were 
only about thirty-five Americans in the county, the balance of 
the population consisting of Mexicans and Pueblo Indians, and 
all the oflQcers being Mexicans, which was a point against the 
detectives. They kept a vigilant outlook for Lewis, and ere long 
that individual was observed approaching, mounted on his mule, 
wearing a most abject mien. Turning at once to Thaw, Smith 
exclaimed in a loud voice: "Here comes that d — d greaser, look- 



viii .Ui=l'';' 



ing for his partners." The remark attracted attention, and as 
Lewis dismounted the crowd went to the door. 

Lewis commenced inquiries for 'his "partners," and as he 
talked Spanish fluently, he soon discovered that three men an- 
swering the description given were then in the town. Bidding the 
interpreter to remain at the hotel, the detectives at once went to 
a store kept by two Americans named Miller and Clothier. Here 
they ascertained that Filomeno Gallotti had borrowed a gun, 
and that he had left five |20 gold pieces to sell. 

Being satisfied that they had the criminals almost within 
their grasp, Mr. Smith cast about for some plan whereby they 
could entrap them. To that end he sent for Thaw and Lewis, 
and Gallotti was then sought out and brought to the store undei 
the pretext that Clothier desired to sell more gold for him. Al- 
though a wily and cunning brute, Gallotti suspected nothing, 
and almost immediately presented himself in front of the store, 
where he met Lewis, who, in a surprised and highly delighted 
manner^ grasped Gallotti by the hand. That grasp was not one 
easily to be shaken off, however, for fingers of iron held the crim- 
inal's hand as in a vise of steel. A moment later Smith came up 
from behind and seized Gallotti's left hand, as if also to shake 
hands, and turning he gazed into the muzzle of a cocked revolver. 

Gallotti realized instantly that he had been entrapped, and 
that resistance would be worse than useless, and begged piteously 
for his life. He was disarmed and handcuffed, and the leader of 
the band of murderers was in the clutch of the law. 

But how were the others to be secured? Fate made this 
easy of accomplishment, for hardly had the handcuffs clicked 
around the wrists of the prisoner than another Italian entered 
the store. He was promptly seized, but proved to be a resident 
of the place. He was badly frightened, however, and seeing this 
the detective told him he would be allowed his freedom provided 
he would bring Fernandez and Anatta to them. To this demand 
he gladly acceded, and soon returned with John Anatta, who 
was at once overpowered and placed in irons. [The artist has 
chosen to group the capture, and is a little at fault, but not seri- 
ously so, as he presents the scene soon after the taking.] 

One other of the men for whom the officers were searching 


was still unsecured. By judicious inquiry it was learned that 
this one was Henry Fernandez, the Mexican, the knowledge of 
whose connection with the crime had led Gen. Cook to infer so 
correctly that the criminals had gone south. It was ascertained 
that he had gone that morning in the direction of Eed river. 
The Mexican officials of the county insisted upon a requisition 
being shown before they would consent to see the oflScers depart 
with their men, but their qualms of conscience were eased by the 
presentation of a purse of |100, and the captors and captives were 
allowed to depart. The detectives at once gave chase to Fer- 
nandez, and reached Bed river at night. Here they discovered 
the house in which Fernandez was sleeping, and soon had secured 

Having three of the fugitives for whom they had been in 
pursuit, the detectives pushed on rapidly to Fort Garland, and 
thence to Pueblo. After an uneventful journey the railroad was 
reached, and the second trio of prisoners were soon en route for 
Denver. • 

The fact that the capture had been accomplished was kept 
comparatively quiet, the previous lesson having been sufficient 
for the officers. But a large crowd was present when they landed 
at the depot. The manacled murderers were lifted bodily from 
the cars and placed in an omnibus. A few policemen rode on the 
top, Gen. Cook being inside with Smith and the prisoners, having 
joined them down the road. Aside from the presence of the offi- 
cers there was nothing in the appearance of the party to attract 
attention. The crowd followed the vehicle out of curiosity, mani- 
festing no especial feeling, probably remembering the prompt re- 
buff they had met on the previous occasion. 

After Gallotti and his crowd were placed in jail they were 
seated for a few moments in a row along the wall, while re- 
porters, officers and others passed around, eager to scan the faces 
and to discuss the relative depravity of the interesting trio. 

Thus were eight of the monstrous butchers pursued and cap- 
tured. But one other was yet at large, and Superintendent Cook 
considered his task incomplete while any of the death-dealing 
demons were free to enjoy the fruits of their awful crime. Frank 
Valentine was the only one of the number now at liberty. He 



had returned to Denver, but found his accomplices locked up, 
and had wisely taken his departure to return to Gallotti. Valen- 
tine had been a companion and associate of the gang at the tin- 
shop, but aside from the fact that he bore the title of "The 
Miner," and that he had come on this mission for the chief mur- 
derer, but little was known concerning him. 

Superintendent Cook silently commenced a series of close 
investigations, and finally concluded that this man was at least 
an accessory. That brutal instinct given vent when the crime 
was committed was still apparent in those already secured in the 
jail, and they seemed anxious that Valentine should be cap- 
tured, and from hints let drop by them Cook was enabled to trace 
the fellow back towards New Mexico. 

All of the members of the detective association had been in- 
structed by the chief to keep a sharp lookout for him, and one day 
it was learned that he was in the vicinity of McCorkle's ranch, 
in Costilla county. Thomas T. Bartlett was then sheriff in Cos- 
tilla county and a member of the detective association, and he 
was soon on Valentine's trail. One day the officer found himself 
near the ranch about the hour of noon. Feeling hungry and 
fatigued, he determined to visit the house and obtain refresh- 
ments for the inner man. While seated at the table a rap was 
heard on the outer door, and in obedience to the summons "Come 
in," who should enter but the yctj man for whom the officer was 
in search. The assassin asked for something to eat, and while 
he was dispatching his dinner the detective engaged him in con- 
versation, and carelessly asked him if he had a pistol. He replied 
in the affirmative and handed it over for examination. The officer 
informed him that it was a fine pistol — a very fine pistol, and 
that he wanted it. Suddenly changing his manner, he added that 
he also wanted the owner of the Aveapon. 

The startled Italian gazed alternately into the muzzle of the 
presented revolver and the cool eye of the officer, and saw that 
the man was terribly in earnest. Kealizing that escape was im- 
possible, he surrendered, and while denying that he took any 
active part in the assassination, he admitted that he was a spec- 
tator to that horrible slaughter. He was brought to Denver, 
where Superintendent Cook met him at the depot, and soon he 
was behind the bars of the county jail. 



So prompt liad been the retribution overtaking the band that 
the popular desire for revenge was in a measure appeased, and all 
seemed to be confident that the law would effectually dispose of 
the bloody crew. Before showing how the people were disap- 
pointed in this, and prior to relating the means by which these 
villains escaped the gallows, it would be interesting to visit the 
jail and, by conversing separately with the prisoners, ascertain 
so far as possible the manner by which the four victims came to 
their death. With the exception of Gallotti, they were all willing 
to talk of the affair. 

The jailer leads the way to his cell. A dark-eyed man with 
the keen, cool, deadly look which only a murderer by birth and 
education could possess, rises to see who comes as the iron door 
swings open. He is rather a small man, but has a well-knit, com- 
pact frame, and evidently possesses considerable muscular activ- 
ity and strength. His eyes are small and piercing and have a ser- 
Ijentine look. In this look can be found one of the reasons why 
he was able to absolutely control the band, to whom Ee was more 
than king or czar. Possessing some education, with an unbend- 
ing will, a heart devoid of pity, a conscience knowing no regret 
and with those glittering eyes, transfixing the one who had 
dared to displease him, he was just what his ambition desired — 
the chief of a desperate band of banditti, whose pastimes were 
the cutting of throats and whose revels were in scenes of blood. 
He would not talk at length, but when it was suggested to him 
that ''It is said that you were the leading spirit in that affair," 
replied: "I am not. The others did the murder, and now are try- 
ing to drag me into it." 



So Gallotti will not talk. Let lis visit Allessandri and get 
his story. This boy (for he is scarcely more than a boy) was the 
first to make any statement to the oflieers, and he can think or 
talk of nothing but the crime. He looks up as his cell is entered 
and readily answers all questions. 

His story as he relates it, with great rapidity and constant 
gesticulation, is as follows: "The band consisted of Gallotti, 
Anatta, Ballotti, Campagne and a miner, I was forced to join 
them against my will, but was powerless to resist Gallotti. The 
killing commenced Frida}', October 15, at half-past one o'clock 
p. m. I was playing a harp in the front room. The old man, 
called Joe in English, the biggest boy and one or two others were 
playing cards in the front room. The cards lay on a box and the 
players were seated around in a circle. Ballotti, Campagne and 
'the miner' were playing, too. Gallotti, the boss tinker, was 
standing up and watching the game. Suddenly Gallotti reached 
under his coat, drew a knife, seized the old man by the hair, drew 
his head back and with one powerful stroke cut his throat from 
ear to ear. The blood flew upon the cards and into the faces 
of the other players. Not yet content, Gallotti stabbed the old 
man in several places and, releasing his hold, he let the lifeless 
body fall on the floor. At the same time the others seized the 
big boy who was sitting at my side playing the harp, but he made 
a desjierate resistance and tried to fight them off. 

"Seeing that the others were not very successful, Gallotti 
left old Joe's body and, grabbing the boy, cut his throat, crying 
to me, Tlay louder!' In the struggle they all used knives, and 
Anatta cut his fingers so badly that when they ceased bleeding 
he could not close them. 

"I kept on playing the harp, for I did not dare stop, and I 
was so frightened that ] trembled violently. Once I stopped 
playing, but Gallotti shook me and, drawing his knife across my 
throat, told me he would cut my d — d head off if I did not play 
on. So I started up again. 

"They let the bodies lay where they had fallen, and some one 
threw blankets over them. In about half an hour the other two 
came into the yard, carrying their harps. Gallotti watched the 
front door and Ballotti stood guard at the rear one. The smaller 


one came in first, carrying his violin under his arm. Gallotti 
seized him and, driving a linife to the hilt just under his right 
ear, cut the boj's throat. The little boy who played the harp 
came up to the door and, catching a glimpse of the blood, at- 
tempted to retreat, but Silvestro seized him and dragged him 
into the house. As Silvestro did not succeed in cutting his throat 
very quickly, Anatta went to his aid. But the boy escaped them 
and ran, bleeding and crying, into the front room, where Gallotti 
caught him around the neck with one hand and, with the boy's 
head under his arm, cut his throat from ear to ear. 

"I was still playing on the harp, but the sight of dead bodies 
and the blood running on the floor made me sick. Filoraeno made 
me lick his knife and ordered me to drink some of the blood. 
He scraped up a handful of blood running from the big boy's 
throat and drank it, the others doing likewise, as a pledge of fidel- 
ity. They then threw th«,' bodies into the cellar and commanded 
me to continue playing, as the music deadened the noise and 
would divert any suspicion that might be entertained. Some of 
the bodies they dragged and some they carried to the trap-door, 
where they threw them into the cellar. Filomeno or some one 
else then went into the cellar and secured the money. I don't 
know how much was obtained, but he gave Ballotti $140, another 
$40 and handed me $20. 

"After everybody had washed their hands and taken off their 
bloody shirts, which were thrown into the cellar, we took four 
revolvers, locked the doors and went to the tin-shop on Fifteenth 
street. About 9 o'clock that night Filomeno, Deodotta, Ballotti, 
Valentine, Guiseppe and the light-haired tinker went back to the 
house. I did not go, but went to sleep between two tinkers, who, 
I think, knew all about the murder, for Filomeno told them to 
watch me, and also told me that if I said anything about the 
murder, or attempted to run away, he would kill me. That night 
Ballotti, Campagne and I walked to Littleton, where we slept 
near the depot until a freight train arrived, which we boarded 
and rode on to Pueblo. 

"I came from Central City about three weeks before the 
murder, and Filomeno told me he should kill the old man and the 
boys. I was afraid to tell any one, fearing that he would kill me, 



too, and the gang never allowed me out of their sight, day or 
night. Filomeno told us he was going to Mexico, and would 
write to us." 

As the musician who played the harp as an accompaniment 
while the throat-cutting was in progress has talked so plainly, 
let us visit Ballotti and, if possible, obtain from him an account 
of the crime. Entering the cell, a rather good-looking young 
man, of a compact frame and with the dark skin of an Italian, 
comes forward to greet us. He commences his story as follows: 

"When I came here some months ago, Filomeno Gallotti 
assisted me in many ways, and placed his house and his purse at 
my disposal. He finally told me that he intended to kill the old 
man and the boys, and I endeavored to obtain funds sufficient to 
go to Cheyenne and get away, but in this I was unsuccessful, 
and I told Deodotta, together with another man at Sloan's lake, 
what plans had been made. Filomeno told us to go to the house 
on Lawrence street and pretend to teach the boys music, and we 
were thus engaged for three days prior to the murder. After 
Filomeno cut the old man's throat, he gave me a knife and told 
me to help the others. I did not wish to kill them, but, fearing 
Filomeno, I drew the back of the knife across the big boy's 
throat, but did not hurt him. When the last two came Filomeno 
stood behind the door and, as the little one entered, carrying his 
harp, he said, holding up a fancy article he had purchased, 'Look 
here. I have bought you something nice to-day,' and just then he 
seized the poor boy, pulled him down upon the floor and, putting 
his knee on his head, said, in Italian: 'Ah, my boy, I've got you 
now.' With that he thrust his knife up to the hilt back of the 
ear and gashed the throat wide open. When the other entered, 
Filomeno, the miner and the tall tinker cut him all to pieces. 
He held on to his harp and ran around the room with his throat 
cut, the blood pouring from the wounds in a torrent, and Filo- 
meno pursuing and stabbing him. Finally he succumbed and 
fell with the harp on top of him. The old man wore a belt filled 
with gold, and Filomeno divided it around. In all, I suppose the 
belt contained about |1,400." 

From this point on the story contained only unimportant 


Says John Anatta, another of the murderers, when talked to : 
"I can not sleep, for 'Old Joe's' spirit haunts my dreams, and 
when he approaches me I seem to be cutting his throat. But no 
sooner have I done so thrm a brand new one takes its place, and 
I awake horrified. It was awful, but I could not help it, and I 
did not do any of the cutting. I hit one of the boys on the head, 
but the knife bent and cut my hand, and that was all I did." 

Let us again visit Gallotti, and after we have told him what 
the others say, perhaps he will be induced to give some account 
of the horrible butchery in which it is claimed he took such a 
prominent part. A dark scowl again greets us, but he is in better 
humor — just in trim to cut throats were the occasion propitious. 

"Now, see here, Gallotti, the others have told us all about 
this affair, and you might as well say something, too." 

"Well, you see, I commenced the job at the card table, by 
catching 'Old Joe' by the hair and sawing my knife across his 
throat until he was quite dead. I helped to kill one of the boys, 
as the others were making a bad job of it. I then put up my 
knife and watched Anatta, Ballotti and Guiseppe cut the other 
two. I secured $800 in gold and |377 in currency, but I gave the 
most of it to the others. I conceived the idea of the murder 
some time ago, and when I broached the subject to the others 
individually and at different times, they all were eager to engage 
in the scheme. My reason for killing the old man was this: 
Several years ago I lived in New Orleans and, being successful 
in business, my countrymen often deposited their savings with 
me. The sum thus entrusted to me increased until I had about 
six thousand dollars of other people's money. Thinking it proper 
to invest this, I loaned it to a fruit dealer, who promised to pay a 
fair rate of interest on the amount advanced. Subsequently, and 
as I afterwards learned, by 'Old Joe's' advice, the fruit dealer 
decamped with the money. I followed him all over the country, 
but finally my means became exhausted and I came to Denver, 
where I settled down at my trade. One day I was asked to write 
a letter for the man on Lawrence street, and when the address 
was signed, I learned for the first time that 'Old Joe' was the one 
who advised the fruit dealer to abscond with the six thousand 
dollars. I kept this to myself, but continued to watch him, and 


finally was satisfied that he was the identical 'Joe' who had been 
in New Orleans. Then I determined to kill him, and enlisted the 
others in the plot. They are as guilty as I, and deserve as severe 
a punishment." 

This being all ^allotti has to say, we are forced to withdraw. 



It would seem from the evidence and their own confessions 
that this band would surely be hung. But such a fate was not in 
store for them. On Saturday, December 4, 1875, the preliminary 
examination was had before Justices Whittemore and Sayer. 
Gallotti and Ballotti pleaded guilty, and, together John Anatta, 
Leonardo Allessandri, Guiseppe Campagne, Leonardo Deodotta, 
Frank Valentine, Guiseppe Pinachio and Henry Fernandez, they 
were bound over to the district court for trial on the 26th day 
of the following January. John Anatta and Allessandri, the 
young harpist, turned state's evidence before the grand jury and 
indictments were returned against the entire band. On the 30th 
of January the accused were brought into court and counsel was 
assigned them. 

February 8 they were arraigned, pleaded not guilty, and their 
cases were set for trial during the April term. May 20 Gallotti 
was before the court and pleaded guilty. Great excitement was 
occasioned when it became known that under a section of the 
statutes he could not be hung, a life sentence being the utmost 
penalty in cases when the accused entered a plea of guilty. The 
next day Balloti was arraigned and endeavored to withdraw his 
plea of not guilty. The motion, for reasons not clearly appar- 
ent, was overruled and his case was set for trial on the following 
day. The evidence in the trial of Ballotti was simply a repetition 
of the facts already known to the reader, and a verdict of murder 
in the first degree was rendered. 

It was decided that under the law Gallotti could be tried in 
spite of his plea. When arraigned Gallotti again entered the plea 
of guilty, and it was considered proper to carry his case to the 
supreme court as a test of the loose law then in force. The same 


proceedings were had in the ease of Frank Valentine. Campagne 
also pleaded guilty, and Anatta and Allessandri entered special 
pleas of voluntary manslaughter. Deodotta was acquitted on the 
charge of being accessory, and the following sentences were 
meted out to the bloodiest band that ever went unhung: Gal- 
lotti, Valentine, Campagne and Ballotti were sentenced for life; 
Anatta and Allessandri received each ten years while the others 
went scot-free. 

Gallotti, the leader of the cut-throat band, was pardoned out 
in 1885, leaving immediately for his native land, Italy, but, ac- 
cording to reports, never reaching it, but dying on his journey. 
Ballotti, the best one of the lot, died in the prison at Canon, 
December 20, 1887. Campagne was pardoned out June 29, 1888, 
and Valentine, the other life man, was restored to liberty by Gov. 
Waite on August 5, 1895. 



For a few years i>revious to 1868 Denver was a paradise of 
quiet and repose. The mining excitement, which had attracted so 
many people to this region a few years before, had subsided to a 
great extent. The settlers were becoming accustomed to a resi- 
dence in this region. The novelty of the life in the Far West had 
died out. There were few mining "booms," if any, and the "hard 
cases" which invariably follow in the wake of mining discoveries 
of importance had become disgusted with the slow life in this sec- 
tion, and had folded their tents and quietly departed for more in- 
viting and, to them, more congenial fields. Of course, the good 
people had no fault with this state of affairs. They went on fol- 
lowing their customary avocations, delving steadily for the prec- 
ious metals, tilling the soil and building up town and country. In 
a word, Denver seemed, within a remarkably short period, to 
have settled down into the perfect repose, so far as crime was 
concerned, of the New England village. 

But with the approach of railroads there came a change — a 
radical and important change. The building of a new railroad in 
any section always introduces a large element of irresponsible 
and vicious people. In the West the percentage of this element 
is larger than in the East. But as the Union Pacific was the 
pioneer railroad line built across the plains, and as the country 
was new and inviting to men of adventurous spirit, its construc- 
tion was probably accompanied by a greater number of arrivals 
than that of any other line built since in this region. There were 
gamblers of all degrees, sneak thieves, burglars, highwaymen, 
horse thieves, murderers, fugitives from justice and amateurs in 


crime. In many places along the line of the road it was "quite 
the thing" to be a bad man, and honesty and civility were at a 
serious discount. Yet in places the better element would ulti- 
mately gain the ascendancy. In many cases the contest was 
close and often there was doubt as to whether the good or the 
bad would triumph. As a rule, however, respectability asserted 
itself, although frequently not until much blood had been shed 
and the most heroic measures resorted to to rid the various com- 
munities affected of these human pests. There were vigilance 
committees at Cheyenne, Laramie City and other places along the 
line of the Union Pacific, which, after months of endurance of the 
most terrible outrages, took the law into their own hands. The 
results were numerous warnings to offenders to leave these 
places, and many *'neck-tie parties" as well, at which no ''duly 
elected" judge sat for days in weighing the evidence, but where 
justice was seldom, as in other courts, blind. The action of these 
vigilance committees was so energetic and efficient that many of 
those of the worst classes were compelled to get away from the 
railroad camps, and large numbers of them poured into the Colo- 
rado towns. 

Of such were Sanford S. C. Duggan and Edward Franklin, 
whose tragic fate, as well as that of L. H. Musgrove, it is the pu- 
pose of this and succeeding chapters to treat. 

Musgrove was one of the marked villains of the pioneer days 
of Colorado, and as cool a character as it was ever the fortune of 
a detective or criminal officer to fall in with. He was a man of 
large stature, of shapely physique, piercing eye and steady nerve, 
who might have stood as the original for the heavy villain of the 
best story of a master in romance literature. He was a man of 
daring, inured to danger, calm at the most critical times — a com- 
mander whose orders must be obeyed, who planned with wisdom 
and who executed with precision and dispatch. He was the 
leader of an organized band of horse thieves, highwaymen and 
murderers, who infested the western plains, with Denver as gen- 
eral headquarters, during the years 1867-'68. They made the rail- 
road towns a convenience in disposing of their booty, but did not 
spend time in loafing about these places when there was other 
and more profitable business to attend to in other places. Mus- 


grove was a southern man by birth, being a native of Como 
Depot, Miss. He had gone to California during the days 
of the gold excitement on the coast, and had located in Napa val- 
ley. His sympathies were with the South in the rebellion, and 
he quarreled with a Napa man about the merits of the conflict, 
which quarrel resulted in his coolly shooting the other party 
down. He was compelled to leave the place, and afterwards 
stopped in Nevada, where he killed two men before being driven 
from that then territory. Leaving Nevada, he came to Chey- 
enne, and from Cheyenne to Denver. He was at first, after cross- 
ing the mountains, engaged as an Indian trader about old Fort 
Hallack, until a half-breed Indian had the temerity, half in 
sport, one day to call him a liar, when Musgrove calmly pulled 
kis revolver from his pocket, and, taking deliberate aim, planted 
a bullet square in the middle of the Indian's forehead. 

This transaction served to put an end to Musgrove's Indian 
trading, for he was compelled to leave the Indian region on very 
short notice. After this little affair he organized a band of 
horse thieves, which operated throughout the entire plains coun- 
try, and which was one of the most formidable bands of desper- 
adoes known to frontier history. Musgrove was a perfect or- 
ganizer. He had his operators in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mex- 
ico, Texas, Nebraska, Kansas and others of the western states 
and territories, and carried on a regular business of stealing and 
selling stock. They would drive off entire droves of horses from 
one section and sell them in another five hundred miles away, 
and would steal another drove in the neighborhood of the late 
sale and drive it for sale back to the place at which they had 
made the previous raid. 

Musgrove's band was broken up by degrees. As early as the 
spring of 1868 Gen. Cook, accompanied by Col. Egbert Johnson 
and one or two others, tracked four of them down after a two 
days' march, and captured them at the point of Winchester rifles 
in a cabin near the city. Col. Johnson proved of invaluable 
service in this work in tracking the scamps, as he had had much 
experience in the mountains. In doing this work he had to even 
wade through a lake of water. Later he went to Georgetown 
after another of them, and capturing him there brought him to 



Denver alone. They were compelled to stay in a hotel at Idaho 
Springs all night, and both slept in the same room, Johnson set- 
ting his gun by the side of his bed and telling the desperado that 
if he made a move during the entire night he would blow his 
brains out. The fellow was as quiet as a mouse, and was afraid 
to get up when morning came, so thoroughly was he convinced 
that Johnson would put his threat into execution. 

Musgrove was himself hunted down in Wyoming, and cap- 
tured and brought to Denver. He was saucy to the last. Just 
a few days before his capture he took shelter in an invulnerable 
place on the Poudre, and sent a flag of truce to the pursuing 
ofiicer, telling him that he could come in and pick out any stock 
that he could recognize; that he could have that and no more. 
Mr. Haskell, the then United States marshal, was in command of 
the pursuing party. He accepted the conditions laid down, as 
there was no alternative, and in doing so found the. outlaw so 
barricaded, and his drove of stolen horses and mules so securelv 
arranged, that he made no effort to dislodge him. 

The arrest was finally affected by a bit of detective strategy, 
and the people throughout the entire western country rejoiced 
when it was announced. 

Among Musgrove's outlaws there was none more daring and 
heartless than Ed. Franklin, who had been with his chief in many 
close places and who really seemed to cherish a great fondness 
for Musgrove. They had in their days of intimacy on the plains 
sworn eternal fidelitv to each other and had taken a vow, with 
others of the party, to come at all times to the assistance of each 
other in times of danger. Hence, when Musgrove, the chief of the 
gang, found himself in the clutches of the law in Denver, he con- 
trived to notify his followers and to ask their assistance. It was 
a fact well known at the time to Gen. Cook that no less than 
twenty of these scoundrels responded to the call, which had been 
sent over the country. He was confident as to their character 
and their mission. He knew that they had come to Denver in- 
tending to effect Musgrove's escajje. He was confident that such 
was their purpose, but he could, of course, make no arrests, as 
he would have been without proofs. He could only remain per- 
fectly quiet and wait for the desperadoes to signalize their pres- 


ence in some way, as lie well knew they soon would. He was not 
compelled to wait long to have his opinion of the men verified 
and to find occasion for making arrests. He was at that time 
not only chief of the Ivocky Mountain Detective Association, but 
also city marshal of Denver, and as such was the chief of the 
police of the city. It may not be out of place to remark that 
while Cook was marshal, and by virtue of this position chief of 
police, Mr. Frank Smith, who has already been mentioned fre- 
quently in this book, was one of his subordinate officers. Smith 
was one of Cook's most trusted men. The two learned to ap- 
preciate the striking qualities of manhood and bravery thus dis- 
covered in each other in those trying days, and became so thor- 
oughly attached to each other that they never separated as long^ 
as Smith lived, which was until 1881. 

Ed. Franklin, to whom reference has been made as one of 
Musgrove's most trusted lieutenants, responded with alacrity to 
the call to come to the rescue of his chief; and without intending^ 
to forestall the story so far as to mar it, it may be stated that 
the expedition proved fatally disastrous to him. Franklin was 
accompanied to Denver by Sanford Duggan. They were both 
bullies and desperadoes — not only bold brigandish boys, but that 
and villains of a lower order, men who did not hesitate to stoop to 
little meannesses when to do so suited their purposes. They 
came to Denver with records, and they had been in this city but 
a very short while before they began to look about for an oppor- 
tunity to add to their ''laurels." 

It does not appear that Duggan had ever been a member of 
Musgrove's band, but he had led a career that would have en- 
titled him to hold a place of distinction in that scoundrel's or- 
ganization, (doming to Colorado in 1861, from Fayette county. 
Pa., when he was only sixteen years of age, he had lived 
for seven years in the company of low characters. At the 
age of eighteen he picked up a quarrel with a man named Curtis, 
in Black Hawk, and shot him down in a cold-blooded and merci- 
less manner. For this offense he had been imprisoned for a short 
while, and then allowed to escape. Leaving Black Hawk after 
this experience, he came to Denver, where he became the asso- 
ciate of a prostitue, one Kitty Wells, who sold herself to obtain 


money for him to live on. He lived with her but a short while, 
when they quarreled one night and he struck her across the head 
with a pistol, well nigh killing her. He was then arrested by 
Gen. Cook while threatening to kill him. He was jailed, but 
escaped justice in some way. We next find him in the Black 
Hills, near Laramie City, in company with a man named Al. 
Howard. Soon there is news of another murder, and Duggan 
is arrested on suspicion and taken to Yankton, Dakota, for 
trial, but the proof is insufficient to establish his guilt and he is 
allowed to go to prey upon the community. He returns to the 
line of the Union Pacific extension and to Laramie City, where 
he for a while acts as city marshal. Discovering the true char- 
acter of the man, the good citizens compel him to resign — not 
only force him to resign, but give him a set number of hours in 
which to get out of town. He takes the hint, and decides upon 
coming to Denver. 

A few days out from Cheyenne Duggan falls in with Frank- 
lin, who has just passed through an experience which is worth 
relating, as it goes to show the character of the man with whom 
we are soon to deal. He had stolen a bunch of mules from Fort 
Saunders, and had succeeded in carrying them several miles to a 
place on the plains where the soldiers who were pursuing came 
up with him. There were seventeen of them in the pursuing 
party. It was no longer sensible for him to continue his flight, 
as he would, at best, be completely overtaken in a few miles. 
Most men, even desperadoes, would have surrendered without 
parley to such odds in numbers, but Franklin's motto was: ''Die, 
but never surrender." He determined to fight. Dismounting 
from the animal which he rode, he hastily scraped a pile of sand 
up and threw himself behind it. The soldiers came up and 
Franklin opened fire. They returned the salute, and for over an 
hour the entire seventeen poured their leaden balls in the direc- 
tion of the horse thief. He retaliated as fast as he could, and 
during the entire hour held the whole party at bay. At last, 
however, he was struck in the breast with a ball and was com- 
pelled from weakness to cease shooting. He was taken at last, 
nearer dead than alive. Being removed to Fort Saunders, he 
recovered rapidly, and had no sooner regained his strength than 


he made his escape. Once out of prison he soon hears of Mus- 
grove's predicament and starts to his chief's rescue, where he 
meets Duggan, and they journey on together. Of course, they 
prove congenial spirits. 

They do not ride boldly into Denver, but decide to stop near 
the city on Clear creek, until night shall come on with its 
friendly cloak, for Uuggan, it must be remembered, is known to 
Chief Cook and his police force. 

The night, however, is not far advanced when they make 
their appearance upon the streets. That the original intention 
of the men in coming to Denver was to liberate Musgrove could 
not be doubted, but they did not propose to waste time, and hence 
determined to earn a few dollars by the simple "holdup" process 
in case opportunity should offer. Hence they sauntered out 
Blake street in quest of game. The first man they met was Mr. 
James Torrence, who was compelled to stand and deliver. They 
procured |22 from him and allowed him to pass on, soon after- 
wards meeting Mr. Alex. DeLap, who is now a well known and 
wealthy citizen of the state, who was halted, and who would have 
been robbed had he not taken the precaution before leaving home 
to divest himself of his valuables. 

The thieves soon find themselves on Lawrence street, and 
discover Hon. Orson Brooks, then a justice of the peace and 
police magistrate for Denver, wending his way homeward. They 
followed him to a deserted place on the street, about the site of 
the Markham house (the old Grand Central hotel), where he was 
accosted by them with a polite request to hold up his hands. 
Possessing no means of defense and finding a pair of ugly re- 
volvers staring him in the face, the judge was compelled to stand 
and allow himself to be robbed of |13o. Judge Brooks had sat 
in the trial of Duggan for the assault upon the woman Kittie 
Wells and recognized him while the search was in process. He 
gave some intimation of this fact, and the knowledge came near 
costing him his life. In response to a sally from him came the 
cheerful proposition from Duggan to Franklin: ''Let's plant the 
d — d old snoozer — what d'ye say?" Franklin was quite will- 
ing, and the chances are that, had Judge Brooks not b6en able 
to laugh off the matter as he did, his body would have been made 


the sheath of a keen-pointed and silent dagger. But he suc- 
ceeded in convincing the men that he had been mistaken when 
he supposed he recognized one of them, and after treating him to 
a maximum dose of profanity, they allowed him to depart. 



The robbery of Judge Brooks was the event which sealed 
the fate of both these desperate characters, and probably indi- 
rectly also that of Musgrove. The event occurred on the night 
of Friday, November 20, 1868. Judge Brooks was a prominent 
and much-esteemed citizen. The whole town was indignant. 
There were demands on every hand to have the highwaymen 
hunted down. Denver had aroused from stupor to an active 
appreciation of the state of affairs. An outrage had been com- 
mitted, and justice must be done. The guilty parties must be 
found and punished. To whom should this work be entrusted? 
The public of Denver had already learned to appreciate "Dave" 
Cook. He was now town marshal, and had already organized 
his detective association. The case was put in his hands. He 
had one clue. Judge Brooks remembered that he had on his 
person before he was robbed a |20 bill, which had been torn 
and which he had mended with a piece of official paper about his 
office. Mr. Cook naturally concluded that there were not apt 
to be two bills so torn and so mended. Hence he went to work 
to find the man who should offer to spend this piece of money. 
He notified not only the officers of Denver, but those of surround- 
ing towns as well. 

The robberies had been committed on Friday. On Sunday a 
messenger arrived from Sheriff John Keith, of Jefferson county, 
saying that the men that were wanted in Denver were to be found 
in Golden. It was stated that they had gone to that place on Sat- 
urday; that they had been drinking and swaggering about the 
streets, loaded down with revolvers and defying all the officers of 


Christendom. It was supposed that they were desperadoes, but 
they were not identified until Sunday morning, when the |20 bill 
was tendered to some one by Duggan. This fact had no sooner 
become known to Sheriff Keith than he dispatched a notification 
to Marshal Cook. The messenger arrived late in the afternoon, 
so that it was dusk before the marshal and his posse were off for 
Golden, eighteen miles distant. There was no Colorado Central 
railroad between Denver and Golden in those days to pick people 
up in one place and set them down in another within half an hour, 
as there now is. But there was a splendid dirt road, and over this 
the horses flew, their hoofs beating melodiously on the frozen soil, 
as Cook and his men marched off towards the foot-hill metropolis 
in the pursuit of their business. The pursuing party was com- 
posed of the following named persons: D. J. Cook, W. Frank 
Smith, D. W. Mays, Eugene Goff, H. B. Haskell and Andy Allen. 
They were all mounted well and were armed very thoroughly. 

Golden was reached about 9 o'clock in the evening of Sun- 
day, November 2.3. The party stopped in the outskirts of the city 
for a few minutes, until Keith could be communicated with. Be- 
ing found, he informed the Denver officers where their men were 
located. Franklin, he said, had been drinking heavily during the 
day and had retired to bed early at the Overland house. Duggan 
was at that moment at a saloon kept by Dan Hill. It was re- 
solved to take Duggan first, and the officers, reinforced by Keith, 
started in the direction of the saloon indicated. ^Yhile on their 
way to this point they met two men, one of whom said to the 
other as they passed: ''What do these s — s of b — s of officers 
want? That's Dave Cook, from Denver. I left one of my pistols 
at your saloon." This remark was overheard by Cook and Keith, 
and the latter whispered to the Denver marshal the fact that the 
speaker, of whom Cook had not had a fair view, was Duggan. 
The other man, he also told Cook, was Miles Hill, brother of the 
proprietor of the saloon. Immediately the two men were seen 
to turn and cross a vacant lot of ground to the rear of Hill's 
saloon. The officers stopped for a minute to arrange plans; Cook 
directing Smith, with Keith and others of the squad, to proceed 
to the front of the saloon, while he, with Goff, would go to the 
rear. "In case there should be shooting, boys, do not hit Miles 


Hill,'' said Sheriff Keith, and taking up the sentence, Cook gave 
an order to his men to be very careful not to hurt any citizen of 

The officers closed in upon the place with the greatest celer- 
ity. Smith and his force found all dark in front, but Cook and 
Goff discovered a small and glaring light near the door of the sa- 
loon as they came around the corner. It was evidently from the 
burning end of a cigar in a man's mouth. Soon the door of the 
saloon opened, shedding a light upon the man with the cigar in 
his mouth and revealing in him the fugitive Duggan. A man 
came out at the door and proved to be Hill. The friends of Hill 
assert that he only brought Duggan's pistol to him, but the offi- 
cers say, be that as it may, he seemed to present the pistol at them, 
intentionally or accidentally, at which time Duggan fired on Cook 
and Goff, the ball flying by them and nipping a bit out of the 
blue soldier overcoat which Cook wore. Notwithstand the of- 
ficers carried cocked revolvers in their hands and were fearful 
that they would have trouble, they were considerably surprised. 
It was a moment before they collected themselves, and before 
they were entirely at themselves another ball came whizzing by 
them in dangerous proximity to their vitals. They were not more 
than ten feet from the men who held pistols in their hands. There 
was no time to hesitate or parley. A moment's delay might mean 
death to both of them. With that calm and commanding way, 
that cool and deliberate manner which has ever characterized 
Dave Cook in time of danger and placed him above other men, 
he raised his pistol with his left hand — he always holds his pis- 
tol in his left hand when he shoots — and taking aim, fired, tell- 
ing Goff also to fire. One man fell to the ground, and the other 
started away on a full run, firing a parting salute as he left. The 
flash of the pistol revealed the fact that Duggan was the ma« 
who was making an effort to escape, and he was pursued by some 
of the members of the party. However, the man jumped a fence, 
and by so doing found a hiding place in a dense undergrowth, so 
that extensive pursuit of him that evening could not be otherwise 
than unavailing. 

When the officers returned they found that the man who had 
been shot was Miles Hill. The ball had entered his left side and 


ranged downward through the abdomen and lodged in the oppo- 
site side of the man's body. It was evident that he could not live. 
He was found lying in the street with a cocked revolver near him. 
He demanded plaintively to know why he had been shot, and 
when told the circumstances of the case, apparently recognized 
the justice of his fate. 

Hill seems to have been a thoroughly good fellow, and his 
kindness of disposition probably led him to the point of helping 
Duggan out of a bad scrape. What representation he had made 
to Hill was not revealed by him, and will now, of course, never be 
known. But that Hill was influenced to aid the disreputable man 
into whose company he had been so unfortunate as to fall can 
hardly be doubted. He died about twelve hours after the shoot- 
ing, and was sincerely mourned by the citizens of Golden, who 
permitted their friendly feeling for and acquaintance with the 
social qualities of the man, for the time, to influence their judg- 
ment of the killing, and, what a few days afterwards was recog- 
nized as a necessary precaution by the officers in the protection 
of their own lives and in the discharge of their duty in attempt- 
ing to arrest Duggan, was at first criticised as ''haste and negli- 
gence." Cook and Goff either had to kill or be killed. They pre- 
ferred the former alternative, repulsive as it was to them. 

But there was then little time to linger over the man whose 
life blood was oozing gradually out as a consequence of his at- 
tempt to defend a criminal from arrest. There was other work 
than indulging in vain regrets to be accomplished. Duggan had 
escaped, but Franklin was still in town, and his whereabouts were 
knowm. He must be captured at all hazards. To allow him to 
escape was not a part of the programme of the officers. They 
had been notified by Sheriff Keith that Franklin had taken a 
room at the Overland house, then standing where it now does, 
and thitherward they wended their way, fully armed, and 
equipped with a strong pair of handcuffs with which they pro- 
posed to secure Franklin, and thus render his return to Denver 
quite beyond question when once he should be in their power. 

Mr. Cook's associates in making this arrest were Frank 
Smith and Mr. Keith, they volunteering from the entire company 
to go with him. The hotel proprietor did not hesitate to inform 


the officers where Franklin was to be found, and they were soon 
in his room after starting in the search. They did not seek ad- 
mission by knocking at the door, which was found unlocked. 
Although soaked with liquor when he retired, Franklin had left 
everything in perfect order for his defense in case he should be 
set upon suddenly, showing himself to be a criminal who was 
used to being hunted, and who never forgot his caution even 
when apparently ''too far gone to know anything." His empty 
pistol scabbard hung on the bed-i)ost, while underneath his pil- 
low lay a large revolver, loaded, cocked and ready for use at a 
moment's warning. The officers stole in with quiet tread, Cook 
leading the van, with his fingers on his lips, and the others fol- 
lowing as noiselessly as if treading upon velvet, although the 
floor was bare. Mr. Keith carried a candle, and as he came up to 
the bed with it, so that the light fell upon Franklin's eyes, he 
turned over with a groan. He lay stretched at full length — a 
man of brawny muscle and splendidly developed physique. His 
breast being partially bared, revealed the gunshot wound which 
was the memento he carried of his late exploit in standing off 
seventeen of Uncle Sam's soldiers near P^ort Saunders, and which 
had yet scarcely thoroughly healed. As he turned in the bed his 
eyes opened. At that moment Mr. Cook laid a heavy hand upon 
the arm of the man, saying : 

"Franklin, we want you." 

The fellow was awake in a moment. 

"The hell you do!" he exclaimed, showing that he took in the 
situation at a glance. 

"Yes, come on quietly." 

"Quietlj', be d — d! Where's my gun? No d — d officer from 
Denver can arrest me. I'm not that sort of stuff. You can make 
up your mind to that." 

By this time he was fully aroused. He was standing on his 
knees, his eyes flashing fire, and striking sledge-hammer blows at 
any of the officers who attempted to \aj hands upon him. He 
would listen to no entreaty, but answered all appeals with de- 
rision. At last Mr. Cook produced the handcuffs, and made a 
move towards Franklin with them, 

"Oh, it's irons you have, is it?" he exclaimed, as he lunged 


at the party. "If that's what you're up to, I have some myself." 

And with this speech he turned to his pillow in the act of 
pulling his revolver from its hiding-place. 

At that moment one of Cook's assistants, considering that 
Franklin was preparing to shoot, struck him on the head and 
knocked him to the other side of the bed. He was up in a minute 
and more furious than ever. He had well-nigh torn his under- 
clothes from his body, and the blood was running frona the fresh 
wound in his head. He was furious with rage, and snorted and 
roared and tore about like a wild animal brought to bay, ex- 
claiming, "Come on, all of you!" as he rose to his feet. "I sup- 
pose you can kill me, but you can not arrest me. I will not go 
with you. If you want to shoot, put it there— there!" And he 
slapped his hand violently two or three times upon his heart. 
The scene was extremely tragic. 

Up to this time no one had intended to shoot, and Franklin 
was told so. "Damn you, if you don't shoot, I will," he ex- 
claimed again. "I will fight your whole gang, if you will give 
me a fair show. I won't be arrested, I won't go; I'll die first — but 
I'll die hard. One or two of you will go with me if I go. Ed. 
Franklin does not sell out for a song." At this he made a lunge 
for a cocked revolver which Cook had laid on a table near by. 
But the keen-ej^ed officers were too quick for him. They had de- 
tected the purpose of the move and were ready. They did not 
propose to stand up to allow another professional murderer and 
desperado to shoot at them. They were not betting blood on 
even terms with outlaws. Cook caught his pistol with his left 
hand, and even while Franklin was fighting his way to it like a 
mad man, sent a ball whizzing through his very heart. Smith's 
firing followed so soon as to cause what seemed little different 
from one report. With hardly a groan Franklin tumbled over 
on the blood-stained bed, a dead and harmless man. He had 
sowed the wild oats of a reckless and useless life, and he had 
reaped the full harvest. 

So ended the last of the tragedies of Golden's night of hor- 
rors, November 22, 1868. 

Of course the entire town had been aroused by this time. It 
was getting well along in the night, yet no one seemed to have 


retired. On the contrary, everybody appeared to be upon the 
streets. Hardly any one understood the cause of the trouble or 
the crimes that had been committed. There were reports that a 
dozen men had been killed, and that a mob had taken posses- 
sion of the town. The people flew here and there like mad. It 
was, indeed, a wild Sabbath night for Golden — ordinarily then, 
as now, a very quiet and orderly town. 

Coroner's investigations of both killings, those of Miles Hill 
and Ed. Franklin, were ordered, and inquests were held. It 
was found that a ball had struck Hill in the left arm, entering his 
left side and passing through his abdomen, while two bullets 
had entered Franklin's breast, hardly an inch apart, and both 
passing through the beart. In the case of Hill, local prejudice 
was allowed to control the deliberations of the coroner's jury, 
the members of which were not in possession of all the facts in 
the case, and in the verdict the ofQcers — who, the reader will 
bear in mind, were only returning the fire of Duggan — were 
slightly censured for "carelessness in the discharge of their 
duty." The verdict was signed by George B. Allen, W. M. B. 
Sarell, J. M. Johnson, Jr., Arthur C. Harris, P. B. Cheney and 
J. Pipe, either one of whom would doubtless, under the same 
circumstances, have acted just as the officers did — if they had 
not depended upon their heels instead of their pistols for pro- 

The verdict in the case of Franklin stood as follows: 
Territory of Colorado, County of Jefferson, ss: 

An inquest, holden in Golden City, Jefferson county, Colo- 
rado territory, on the 22d day of November, A. D. 1868, before 
J. B. Cass, a justice of the peace, upon the dead body of Ed. 
Franklin, alias Charles Myers, lying at the Overland house, in 
Golden City, Colorado territory, dead, by the jurors whose 
names are hereto subscribed. The said jurors, upon their oaths, 
do say that the said Ed. Franklin, alias Charles Myers, came to 
his death by the shots of pistols in the hands of D. el. Cook and 
Wm. F. Smith, officers, who were trying to arrest him; and that 
the deceased was shot because he refused to be arrested, and 
the officers shot him in the discharge of their duty, on the even- 
ing of the 22d of November, 1868. 






H. R. KING. 

Thus ended this series of tragedies, so far as Golden was in- 
volved. The officers, before returning to Denver, scoured the 
town of Golden and the surrounding country in search of Dug- 
gan, but failed to find him. Indeed, they soon became convinced 
that he had lost no time in leaving the place, and as there were 
then few residences either in the mountains or on the plains, 
there was little hope of overtaking him if pursuit should be de- 
cided upon. Consequently Gen. Cook decided to return to Den- 
ver with his men, and to send out information in all directions to 
his assistants of the detective association concerning the escape 
of the desperado, paying |50 to the landlord of the Overland 
house before leaving for damages done to the bed in which 
Franklin lay. The man who shared Franklin's bed was found to 
be a deserter from the army and was turned over to the military 



The night was well advanced when the officers, who had 
gone to Golden, returned to Denver. Indeed, the morning was 
coming on, so that they were late in reaching their homes. Being 
well worn with the night's excitement and fatigue, thej slept 
late on Monda}^ morning. When they came out they found Den- 
ver in a state of general excitement. The story of the resistance 
which the officers had met with from the desperadoes in attempt- 
ing to make the arrests in Golden had been generally circulated. 
The people were just then beginning to appreciate for the first 
time the real character of the outlaws who had so recently been 
in their midst. They had never before dreamed that these high- 
waymen would be guilty of outright murder. Their eyes were 
opened for the first time. Evidence had accumulated of Frank- 
lin's having been a partner of Musgrove. Even after the bold 
robberies of the preceding Friday night, Franklin had had the 
assurance to go to the jail where Musgrove was confined and ask 
for a conference with that individual. After this interview Mus- 
grove made general announcement of the fact that his escape was 
planned for an early day, on such a perfect scale that it would 
not be within the power of the authorities to prevent it. It was 
also generally understood that there were many other desper- 
adoes in the city, who, it was believed, had come to Denver for 
the purpose of assisting Musgrove to throw off his prison 
shackles. At any rate, the town was known to be full of bad 
characters, and the number was increasing every day. It was 
generally agreed that something must be done to teach these 
ruffians that Denver was no place for them. The laws were im- 


perfect; it was difficult to convict witnesses, and the prisons were 
mere pens, out of which criminals could escape with small effort. 
There was but little for them to fear from the due process of law. 
Some more speedy remedy for the evil existing was needed. The 
community was sick and must be cured. A limb had been frac- 
tured, and amputation was necessary. Heroic remedies were 

So the people were beginning to talk about noon of Monday, 
November 23. Some one suggested that the proper and salutary 
thing to do would be to hang Musgrove. The idea was wildfire in 
a dry prairie. It passed from one to another, and all the good 
people declared that Musgrove should be hanged by the people in 
the interest of the people — without technical warrant of law, but 
for the same purpose as that for which legal executions are in- 
tended, namely, to punish crime and to furnish a warning to evil- 
doers wherever found. On general principles Musgrove deserved 
hanging. The West is a region which believes in giving every 
man his deserts. So Musgrove must hang. This was the ver- 
dict of the town. 

Up to 3 o'clock there had been no organized meeting, not- 
withstanding the talk of lynching had been general, and almost 
everybody had come to understand that a tragedy of this kind 
might be expected at any moment. By 3 the people began to 
gather on Larimer street. A few minutes later found them 
marching by the score, as if by common consent, towards the 
county jail, in which Musgrove was confined. There were hun- 
dreds in the procession when the prison was reached. There 
was no general expression to denote the intention of the mob, 
but all understood its purpose. There were no masks worn or 
disguises adopted. It was broad daylight. The best men in the 
town were in that procession — lawyers, doctors, and probably 
ministers, business and professional men. No officer dared stand 
in the way of that gathering. It was the people about to do the 
people's will. 

Arrived in front of the jail a halt was called. Some one 
mounted an elevation. There was no disorder. 'The question 
before you," rang out the voice of the speaker, ''is, shall Mus- 
grove be taken out of jail?" 


There was a unanimous "Yes!" 

"The next question is, shall he be hanged when taken out?" 

The same unbroken "Yes" was the response. 

There were none to object. 

The jail was promptly entered. No obstacles were thrown in 
the way by the officials. Musgrove had himself been an auditor 
of the proceedings which had just been conducted on the outside 
of his prison house. But he had not been dumbfounded by the 
revelations made to him of his approaching fate. He met the 
mob with a bold face. "Come on!" he exclaimed, defiantly, "I 
am ready for you." 

He was found to be armed with a heavy pine knot with 
which some one had provided him. This he hurled defiantly 
in the air. None cared to approach him while he held this 
formidable weapen. Hence the stratagem of firing two or three 
shots over his head was resorted to. This policy brought the 
desperado to terms. Musgrove agreed to surrender peaceably 
on condition that he be not shot down. He was consequently 
taken out of jail. 

Once on the street the procession made towards the Larimer 
street bridge across Cherry creek. Musgrove was fairly pushed 
forward by the pressure from the crowd which followed be- 
hind. He walked onward in a sullen and uncommunicative 
mood, glancing to one side and then the other as if looking 
for assistance. But none came. When he reached the bridge 
he apparently lost all hope. He never once asked for mercy or 
made a single plea for his life. 

"If you are bent upon murdering me," he said at last, "you 
will at least be men enough to permit me to write to my friends 
and tell them the shameful story of -your conduct towards me." 
No one objected, and when the middle of the bridge was reached 
a halt was called and Musgrove was furnished with paper and 
pencil. Bending over the railing of the bridge he scratched 
off two brief notes, one to a brother and the other to his wife, 
the first being directed to Como Depot, Miss., and the second 
to Cheyenne. The poor criminal grasped the pencil with firm- 
ness and apparently wrote without a tremor, notwithstanding 
he was closely surrounded by armed men who were soon to be 

Lynching of Musgrove. 



his executioners. He was an illiterate man, and wrote and 
spelled badly. Fortunately Gen. Cook preserved verbatim copies 
of the letters, which were as follows: 

Denver November 23d, 1868 
Mv Dear Brother 

I am to be hung to-day on false charges by a mob 
my children is in Xapa Valley Cal — will you go and get them 
& take caree of them for me godd Knows that I am innocent 
pray for me but I was here when the mob took me. Brother 
good by for Ever take care of my pore little children I remain 
your unfortunate Brother 

good by 

Denver C. T. 
My Dear Wife — Before this reaches you I will be no more 
Mary I am as you know innocent of the charges made against 
me I do not know what they are agoing to hang me for unless 
it is because I am acquainted witji Ed Franklin — godd will pro- 
tect you I hope Good by for ever as ever yours sell what I have 
and keep it. L. H. MUSGROVE. 

While he was still writing, some of the men had tied Mus- 
grove's legs together, and a wagon was procured, which he was 
told to mount. Placing his hands upon the seat in front, he 
sprang into the vehicle as nimbly as a cat, and the driver, who 
was George Hopkins of the present police force, was ordered 
to proceed. The procession then took its way to the west end 
of the bridge, reaching which, it passed down the bank of the 
creek to the dry and sandy bed of the stream, returning to a 
place under the middle span, whence a hangman's rope dangled, 
with the noose already prepared for service. Driving up under 
this cord, Musgrove was told that he could have an opportunity 
to make whatever preparation he should see proper for the 
end which was approaching. 

His only reply was: "Go on with your work." 

He was ordered to stand up, and mounted the seat of the 

wagon, surveying the crowd with his usual sullen and calm face. 

The rope was being tied about his neck, when Capt. Scudder, 

then a well known and respected citizen, standing on the bridge 



above, began to address the crowd upon the illegality of the 
proceedings. Musgrove's countenance did not change. He 
coolly took a piece of paper from one vest pocket, and fumbled 
in the other vest pocket for some tobacco crumbs, which he 
took out, rolled in the paper, made a cigarette, turned the ends 
with care, placed it in his mouth, requested a match from the 
driver, struck it, lighted his cigarette and smoked it with as 
much composure as a Mexican ranchero sitting in his plaza on 
a summer evening, while Capt. Scudder continued his harangue. 

This talk was not heeded. The crowd began to jeer, and 
to cry: "Drive on!" Some one hallooed to Musgrove and in- 
quired: "Where are the rest of your gang?" 

"I am sure I don't know," came the reply, "unless you are 
one of them." 

Those were among the man's last words. His hat was pulled 
down over his eyes. Musgrove threw his cigarette from his 
mouth, and feeling the wagon starting, stooped and sprang into 
the air. 

The wagon was moving but slowly from under the man and 
he came down on the floor of the wagon bed. With an expres- 
sion of great disappointment and disgust he made another de- 
termined leap which should almost, beyond peradventure, land 
him in the great beyond. The wagon had moved out this time^ 
and Musgrove threw his entire weight upon the rope. His neck 
was broken by the fall, and death ensued instantly. There were 
a few shrugs of the shoulder and all was over. The hat which 
had played the part of a hangman's cap was removed before 
the crowd dispersed and the countenance was found to have 
changed but little. It was still sullen and devoid of any ex- 
pression of fear. Musgrove had died as he had lived — coldly 
defiant of the world. 

Referring to the matter at the time a local print said: "The 
people who assembled were good men, if we have any good 
men in the city. They were quiet and orderly, no shouting, no 
commotion — waiting to see the law executed upon one who had 
outraged them. They comprised a large part of the men of 
the city, and were not a crowd or a mob, but an assemblage 
of the people." 



Duggan, it will be remembered, had escaped from the offi- 
cers at Golden, but he was not allowed to get away. The de- 
scriptions which Gen. Cook had sent out had been received at 
Fort Russell, near Cheyenne, and the agents of the Rocky Mount- 
ain Detective Association at that point were on the lookout for 
him. They did not wait long. He was picked up in company 
with a deserter, riding a stolen horse near Natural Fort, six- 
teen miles from Cheyenne, making his way eastward. 

Chief Cook hearing of the arrest of Duggan, had himself 
gone to Cheyenne after the fugitive. He was satisfied from 
what he knew of the awakened spirit of the people of Denver 
that if they should get an opportunity they would lynch Duggan, 
but he was determined that such a fate should not befall the 
man while in his custod3^ In fact, it may be mentioned now, 
that Gen. Cook has ever made it a point to see that no prisoner 
should be taken from his hands by a mob, and none has ever 
been. He knew that he would be expected to get in at a cer- 
tain time, and thought it more than probable that a mob would 
be organized by that time, for the purpose of taking Duggan 
from the officers and hanging him. To avert this fate Cook 
had caused the stage driver to double his speed and to come 
into Denver twelve hours ahead of time. It was fortunate that 
this precaution had been taken, for the people had already de- 
cided to make another example of Duggan by hanging him. They 
were terribly excited, and the watchword of the town was "Let 
no villain escape." Duggan must follow in the footsteps of 

But Cook took the town by surprise in his early arrival 



with the culprit. The}- were not organized or ready to make a 
fight for the man, as thej had determined that they would be by 
the regular stage arrival time. However, the approach of the 
coach was discovered, as the Carr house on Fifteenth street 
was passed, by some one who cried out: ''Here, boys, come; 
here's Cook with Duggan; let's take him!" There was a rush 
from the hotel, but Gen. Cook ordered the driver to travel for 
his life. The horses were whipped into a dead run, which was 
kept up until the Larimer street prison was gained. Notwith- 
standing this great haste a mob of 500 people had gathered at 
the jail when it was reached and the driver had almost to plow 
through it with his team. The door was reached at last, how- 
ever, and the prisoner, trembling like a leaf in a breeze, was 
pushed into the jail and turned over to the county authorities. 

But that Duggan's life was not safe even now, all under- 
stood perfectly. It was generally believed that he would be 
lynched. The impression had gotten out that the jail would be 
assailed some time during the afternoon, and the prisoner taken 
therefrom and executed, and in consequence of the rumor, about 
4 o'clock a crowd of men, women and children lined the side- 
walk along both sides of Larimer street from Fifteenth street, 
even on to the bridge, which was occupied by children principally. 
They held their position until nearly or quite dark, when think- 
ing that the expected exhibition had been indefinitely postponed, 
they retired to their homes. They were mistaken in their sur- 
mises, as it appears. 

It became known in some way that Duggan would be re- 
moved from the Larimer street prison to the city jail on Front 
street some time during the evening, and the mob had con- 
cluded to improve the occasion by taking him from the oflflcers 
and executing him. About 6 o'clock he was taken in an express 
wagon for the purpose of the proposed transfer. As the wagon 
left the west end of the bridge a whistle was sounded and im- 
mediately answered from the direction of the calaboose. Soon 
after the wagon crossed the bridge it was surrounded by ninety 
or a hundred armed men, who demanded a halt, and the sur- 
render of the prisoner, and he was turned over to them with- 
out a struggle. Having him in possession they retraced their 

Lynching of Duggan in Denver—Fight of Photographers for View of Remains. 


steps and turned west, to what was then Cherry street, to a 
point on that street where there stood two or three Cottonwood 
trees, and under one of which the procession halted. The express 
wagon, which had been taken possession of, was brought to 
the front, and placed directly under a limb of the tree. In a 
moment a rope was thrown over the limb, and in another moment 
Duggan was standing in the wagon immediately under the fatal 
noose. Some one then told him if he had any remarks to make, 
to make them, ^r his time among the living was short. He 
commenced by asking them to send for a Catholic priest. "I 
killed a man in the mountains, but it was in self-defense," he 
said: ''I did not kill the man in the Black Hills; 'twas another 
fellow that did it." To the question about having assisted in gar- 
roting Squire Brooks, he first said, "I didn't do it. I have never 
hurt anybody or stole anything. I have been a bad man, but 
I am not guilty of anything deserving of hanging." He fre- 
quently asked that a minister should be sent for. *'One called 
this afternoon, but hadn't time to stay then, but wanted me to 
send for him if anything happened." 

Again he was warned that his moments were numbered, 
and again asked to confess, if he had any confession to make. 
''I killed the man in the mountains in self-defense and have 
been tried and acquitted. The man in the Black Hills was 
killed by another fellow. I never stole anything from anybody. 
I did assist in robbing Squire Brooks, but I was nearly out 
of money and had to do it or starve. I only had six or seven 
dollars, and could not get any any other way. I had to do it 
or die. I have been a very bad man, but have done nothing to 
be hanged for. Spare my life; any other punishment. Oh, my 
poor mother! it will kill her. Don't let it get to her; send 
for a Catholic minister." 

His confession or remarks were constantly interrupted by 
his cries. In fact, in the trying moment he was completely 
unmanned, crying and sobbing like a baby, and uttering prayers 
for mercy from Him whose laws he had frequently and re- 
peatedly outraged — a spectacle quite different from that pre- 
sented by Musgrove. After he had said all that he had to say, 
the order was heard, "'Drive on," and the wagon which had 


served as liis frail bulwark between life and eternity, moved 
from under, and the spirit of Sanford S. C. Duggan took its 
flight to the presence of Him who shall judge us all according 
to the deeds done in this world. The fall, about eighteen inches, 
broke his neck. He was a man six feet two or three inches in 
height and weighed 205 pounds. After the body was cut down 
it was given in charge of the coroner. 

Thus ended the terrible series of tragedies which began 
with the shooting of Miles Hill at Golden on^the night of the 


22d of November. That the killings were justified no man who has 
ever lived on the frontier at such times as those were will deny. 
In all these affairs Gen. Cook and his officers were more or less 
concerned, but at all times doing all in their power both to 
bring offenders against the law to justice, and then to see that 
the laws were not violated when they were once secured. The 
lynchings they would gladly have prevented, but it was useless 
for them to fly in the face of an entire community, which had 
been outraged and which was aroused, not so much to venge- 
ance as to the necessity of protecting itself against the rough 
element of the plains. The pictures drawn are not pleasant 
ones, but they are a part of the history of Denver, and have 
been given as such without any attempt at exaggeration or 
undue coloring. 



May 12, 1879, Cole's circus struck its tent in Denver and pre- 
pared to give one of the very creditable performances which gen- 
erally characterize this "monster aggregation.'' The circus had 
but recently returned to America from Australia and was passing 
through the country with considerable prestige. Being the means 
of getting large crowds of people together, it was naturally fol- 
lowed up or accompanied by as depraved a set of sneak thieves 
and pickpockets as ever traveled in the shadow of any circus. 
The day of the beginning of the series of performances given in 
this city was marked by an occurrence which will ever serve to 
call the date to mind. On that day a robbery was committed in 
Denver, which will long be remembered for the shrewdness with 
which it was planned, the expediency with which it was executed, 
and also for the speedy overtaking of the thieves and the restora- 
tion of the stolen property to its owners. The robbery took place 
at the Exchange Bank, then located on the corner of Fifteenth 
and Blake streets, about 1 o'clock in the afternoon, while the 
circus procession was passing and while the streets in front of 
the building were thronged with people, including those engaged 
in the parade and those who were looking on as it moved by. 

About 1 o'clock the head of the procession began to move up 
Blake street from the depot. The cashier of the bank, Mr. J. M. 
Strickler, was at his desk. Mr. A. J. Williams, then the vice- 
president and now the president of the institution, was in the 
private office in the rear, and other attaches of the bank were be- 
hind the iron railing. There was a temporary lull in the task of 
receiving deposits, and the bank officers, with the exception of 


Mr. Strickler, stepped out to the door to see the procession go by. 
This left no one behind the counter except Mr. Strickler, who was 
running over some deposits that had been made by patrons of the 
bank, and talking with a stranger. A few moments later Hon. J. 
F. Welborn stepped into the bank and asked Mr. Williams to 
come out to the front, as he desired to speak to him a few mo- 
ments on business. Mr. Williams joined Judge Welborn at one 
of the large windows fronting on Blake street, and they stood 
there chatting until after the procession had gone by. The other 
bank officers returned to their desks, and Mr. Strickler a few min- 
utes later noticed that a large pile of greenbacks, done up in 
packages of |500 and upwards, was missing from the table. 
Thinking they had been placed in one of the cash drawers, he 
asked his assistant, Mr. Rockwell, who replied that he had not 
seen the money, and just about that time it began to dawn upon 
the officers that their short absence from the counter had cost the 
institution nearly |4,000, about that amount of money having 
been piled upon the table awaiting deposit. 

Gen. Cook was immediately sent for. He found the officers 
of the bank in a state of considerable excitement, and all of them 
thoroughly at sea. The robbery was to them a terrible mystery. 
None of them had been out of the bank at all and Mr. Strickler, 
the efficient cashier, had remained continuously in his office. They 
could not have believed that the bank had been robbed if they had 
not had the evidence which their eyes furnished that the money, 
which a few minutes before had been there, was missing. That 
some one should have come into the building and taken out 
$4,000 in money, even at a time when there was a circus around, 
seemed to them well nigh incredible. But the fact stared them in 
the face that the money had disappeared, and they came to Cook 
to find it. No one could suggest a point that would be of assist- 
ance, and he began to put questions, with the hope of getting 
some clue which would aid him in his apparently almost hopeless 
search. The clue was at last obtained. Mr. Strickler remem- 
bered that while the other officials and the employ«^s of the bank 
had been out looking at the circus, he had been engaged in con- 
versation with an individual who had brought in a $100 note to 
get it changed, and the note being of doubtful appearance, he had 


seemed bent upon drawing the cashier into an animated discus- 
sion, which was carried on on the part of the stranger in an un- 
necessarily loud and vehement tone of voice. 

"That is the man we want to get/' said Cook. "He was the 
steerer for the thieves." 

The detective at once jumped at the conclusion that ordinar- 
ily a man would not go into a bank to get change while a circus 
was passing. The man's manner, when further described, con- 
firmed the opinion previously formed, and he obtained a descrip- 
tion of the fellow as speedily- as possible, upon wiiich thread he 
went to work to run the case down and restore the bank its 
stolen funds. 

Before starting out, however, he made a survey of the build- 
ing, for the purpose of completing his theory of the modus oper- 
andi of the robbery and how many had been engaged in it. 

The portion of the building occupied as a bank was composed 
of two rooms — a large one, in which the active employes were 
engaged, and a smaller one, used as his private office by Mr. Wil- 
liams. The two communicated through a partition door, and botk 
had doors opening upon Fifteenth street. 

The rear door on Blake street, leading into the private oflSce, 
was usually locked with a spring lock, working from the inside. 
It could not be opened without a key, except from the inside. 
From the private office there was a door leading into the inner 
portion of the bank, enclosed with counters and railings, and an- 
other door leading straight to the front entrance. Gen. Cook con- 
cluded that the plan must have been arranged beforehand, and 
the theft committed without any delay. The rear door being 
open, a person could gain access to the vaults and cash drawers, 
and by stooping low would not be visible to any one on the out- 
side of the counter. It was therefore presumed that while one of 
the thieves guarded the rear door for his pal and another talked 
with the cashier, the third crawled deftly on his hands and knees 
and reached up for the money, sweeping the counter pretty clear, 
and taking all the currency that was in sight. The time con- 
sumed by the jjrocession in passing was sufficiently long to en- 
able the thieves to do this without showing their hurry or doing 
the work bunglingly. 


This work beino; accomplished, the thief who had taken the 
money wrapped it in a red handkerchief and crept to the back 
door. Seeing his friend clear, the man with the |100 bill took his 
departure and all three joined on the outside, passing hurriedly 
down Fifteenth street and past the Elephant corral, as had been 
noticed by spectators, who did not, of course, know what had 
transpired in the bank. At that corral, as was afterwards 
learned, a portion of the money was left. 

Having a description of one of the men who had been in the 
robbery, and being in possession of the course that the robbers 
had taken. Cook went to work himself and sent others of his of- 
ficers out in the search. They had some hope of finding the 
thieves through other operations, and some of the detectives at- 
tended the circus for the purpose of getting a clue of this kind. 
The fact that a number of smaller robberies were committed dur- 
ing the forenoon, and, in every instance, in the crowds where the 
procession passed, strengthened the theory that there was a well- 
organized gang at work, and that they were doing their work un- 
der cover of Cole's circus procession. But a more hopeless task 
could hardly be imagined. Here was a bank robbed in broad day- 
light, with the officers and clerks moving about the room and 
keeping a watchful eye on the money deposits. No one who 
could recognize them had seen the thieves enter or depart, and 
no one connected with the bank could give the ofticers any but 
the slightest clue as to the character or appearance of the bold 
outlaws. But Cook is not a man prone to give up the track of a 
thief because the trail happens to be cold. According to methods 
and intuitions of his own he went to work. He relied mainly 
upon his great knowledge of the thieves of the country, believing 
that if the robbers had been well known and experienced crooks, 
as their work showed they were, he would know them or some of 
them when he should come upon them. 

He accordingly set out to look for his men. Two hours after- 
wards brought the welcome information to the bank that two out 
of the three robbers had been captured and part of the money re- 
covered. In his search Gen. Cook visited the American house, 
.'ind while sauntering about there, Cook's eyes fell upon a form 
that was not unknown to the eves of the detective. A brief retro- 


spection caused him to remember the man as one Joe Parrish, a 
noted thief, whom he had seen ten years before in Chicago. He 
was observed to be accompanied by another man, whose face 
could not be seen at first. The two moved about suspiciously, 
and Cook decided upon a closer investigation of the pair. At last 
he obtained a full view of Parrish's partner, and found him to be 
not onlv a first-water Italian crook from St. Louis, but also that 
his description answered that given by Mr. Strickler of the man 
who had called to get a bill changed. These were the men wanted. 
Of this fact Gen. Cook was quite certain. He consequently left 
them and went in search of his deputy, Mr. Smith. That gentle- 
man joining his chief, they returned to the American house '*for 

Spotting their men, who did not seem to be laboring under 
any Aieasiness of apprehension, they decided upon immediate 
arrest, and came down upon them like a thousand of brick. 
Cook walked deliberately up to Parrish, a genteely dressed young 
man, with a Jewish cast of countenance, and announced that he 
was under the pleasant necessity of placing him under arrest. 
Parrish — who subsequently gave his name as F. Wiggins — made 
no resistance; did not even raise the slightest objection or remon- 
strance. Meanwhile, Smith had approached the other party and 
placed him under arrest. This man — who gave his name as I. H. 
Russell, though it was an alias — was also neatly dressed and of 
gentlemanly appearance. He exclaimed, as Smith laid his hands 
upon him: "Well, well!" Only this and nothing more. 

As the ofiicers were conveying their prisoners to a coach, 
however, preparatory to taking them to jail, Russell turned to 
Gen. Cook and said: "Will you be kind enough to tell me what 
t:his is all about?" 

He also informed Cook that he was a lawyer in good stand- 
ing, afterwards stating that he had come to Denver as a com- 
mercial traveler, and was selling jewelry. When Cook asked him 
where his samples were, he replied that he was dealing in cheap 
jewelry and did not carry any samples. 

Wiggins never spoke a word from the time of his arrest till 
he was behind the bars. 

While Smith was looking after the prisoners in the office of 


the American house, Cook went up to the room — No. 73 — occu- 
pied by Wiggins and Russell and instituted a vigorous search. 
The prisoners were also carefully searched, and |800 in all was 
found upon the two, the bulk of which was identified as money 
stolen from the bank. A portion of the money found upon the 
prisoners was f 100 in five and ten-dollar bills, which was hidden 
in the front part of one of Mr. Wiggins' shoes. 

Both the prisoners stoutly protested their innocence of the 
crime charged against them, but the proof of their guilt was as 
straight as could possibly have been desired, and no one enter- 
tained any doubt that the right men had been taken. The job 
was one of the neatest ever performed by a detective in any place, 
and Gen. Cook and his co-worker were praised on every hand. 
Starting out at 2 o'clock without a single clue, they had in two 
hours found and jailed the robbers and secured a fine roll of 
money, if not all or the bulk of it. "With such detectives. as these 
in Denver," said one, ''thieves will certainly conclude that this is 
not the place for them." "They are better than all the iron safes 
in the country," said another. Indeed, the detectives were con- 
gratulated upon every hand. ' 

But one of the thieves was still missing, with something like 
5:3,000 in his possession. He proved to be more evasive than the 
other two had been, and succeeded in getting out of town. The 
officers were at first nonplussed and unable to obtain the slight- 
est clue as to his identity. They could not turn a wheel. At last 
they succeeded in getting the man's name, which was Sam 
Straddler, otherwise known as "Dayton Sammy," from his pals, 
and learned that he was in Cincinnati. Thitherward Cook dis- 
patched Smith, who arrived just in time to learn that his bird 
had flown. He had contrived to get away from the police au- 
thorities there and could not be found. 

Parrish and Russell remained in jail for several months, and 
at last compromised the matter, so that the bank was out nothing 
in the end. 

It is a fact worth noting that neither Mr. Russell, Mr. Par- 
rish or Mr. Straddler has been seen in the city since they were 
turned out of jail. They don't get along well with Dave Cook, 
and prefer to be widely separated from him. 



lu all the criminal history of Colorado — iu all the register of 
the achievements of the Kocky Mountain Detective Association — 
the ensanguined pages show no more causeless, unprovoked mur- 
der than that of R. B. Haywaid. in September, 1879. The diffi- 
culties met and overcome by the detectives, and the prompt and 
tragic end of the criminals, lend an additional interest to the 
case and make it one of the most famous in the far West, as it is 
most assuredly one of the most noted in Colorado iu some of it» 
features. The absence of any material temptation; the temporary 
escape of the murderers; the accidental finding of the body of the 
victim; the patient search of the officers; the final arrest of the 
men hundreds of miles away; the identification and confession; 
and then the lynching, so rich in dramatic detail, form a narrative 
reading more like a sensational romance than the cold facts of 
an actual reality. 

On the 10th of August, 1879, Gen. D. J. Cook, superintendent 
of the Rocky Mountain Detective Association, received a dispatch 
from Sherifl: Besey, of Grand county, Colo., telling him to 
keep a sharp lookout for a man looking very much like a China- 
man, and evidently with some Indian blood in his veins, wha 
was wanted for the robberj' of the house of Mr. Frank Byers, in 


Middle park. The robber had secured a watch and a few trinkets 
of more or less value, and then, helping himself to a mule, had 
departed for other fields. This robbery had occurred on the 8th, 
and the intricate machinery of the detectives was put in motion 
as soon as notified, for Mr. Byers was a well-known citizen, and 
presently information began to take shape and flow through the 
properly appointed channels to headquarters. 

It was found that on the 12th, four days after the Byers rob- 
bery, and two after the detectives had been notified, the robber 
had appeared in Georgetown and called upon Dr. William A. 
Burr, giving his name as Joseph F. Seminole, and stating that 
he came from Emerson Kinney, of Hot Sulphur Springs, who 
desired the medical gentleman's immediate presence, as Mrs. Kin- 
ney was dangerously ill. 

"When you get about six miles out of town on the road to 
Empire," said the cool and crafty scoundrel, "stop at the ranch 
of Mr. Lindstrom and get my mule, which I left there. It will be 
much better for you to use my animal than to ride your own on 
such a long and hard trip. When you reach the Summit house, 
in Berthoud pass, just present this order and the proprietor will 
furnish you with a horse and buggy.'- 

The order that was given read as follows: 

"Please give to Dr. W. A. Burr, horse and buggy, and charge 
same to Emerson Kinney, of Hot Sulphur Springs, on same order 
as before. J. F. SEMINOLE." 

When the doctor reached Lindstrom's place he exchanged 
his horse for the mule left bv Seminole, and continued on his wav. 
At the Summit house the foregoing order was presented, but the 
proprietor declined to furnish a conveyance on the strength of it, 
saying that he did not know Seminole at all, but offering a horse 
and buggy if the doctor would be personally responsible for it, 
a proposition which the latter accepted. At last Mr. Kinney's 
ranch was reached, and to his utter stupefaction the doctor found 
that his expected patient was not only never in better health, 
but had not the slightest idea of being sick. Breathing ven- 
geance deep and dire, the good-hearted but exasperated doctor 
started on his return, and when Lindstrom's wqs again reached, 
he was greeted with the intelligence that Seminole had been there 


and secured his horse, and to this day that animal has never heen 
seen, or even heard of. 

Thus far the detectives got, and then were ballced. To them 
it was but a case of robbery — they never dreamed how soon it 
was to develop into a ghastly murder. Somewhat piqued at their 
non-success, although the crime was comparatively but a paltry 
one, they continued their efforts, and after a while traced Sem- 
inole to Leadville, where, on the 7th of September, he, in com- 
pany with a man known as Tom Johnson, whose correct name 
proved to be Samuel Woodruff, hired two horses for the avowed 
purpose of merely taking a little ride. While skirmishing around, 
they noticed a Mr. Aldrich draw two hundred dollars from a bank, 
and learned that he was going immediately to Georgetown. 
They followed behind him, and when six miles from his destina- 
tion rode up to him, drew their pistols and called upon him to 
halt and deliver. Aldrich, however, was not of that kind, and 
jerked his own weapon and turned loose, though, unfortunately, 
not hitting either of the two scoundrels, who turned and fled pre- 
cipitately. When he arrived in Georgetown, he promptly notified 
the sheriff of Clear Creek county, and that official immediately 
struck the trail and followed it up without the loss of a moment. 
So rapidly did he gain on the fleeing desperadoes that they dis- 
mounted from their horses, turned the animals* loose and made 
their escape in the brush. The animals were returned to their 
owners and the sherifl" abandoned the pursuit of the men. 

The rascals continued on foot until September 10. They 
reached the place of Mr. Anderson, and hired him to drive them 
to Denver. They stated that they had no money, but an ancle 
of theirs kept a livery stable in Denver, and he would pay for all 
the trouble. While on the trip Anderson noticed that his passen- 
gers did have money, and remarked that they had better pay the 
toll charges at least, as he was not willing to spend cash right 
out of his pocket and trust them besides. But they refused, and 
then Anderson said he would go no further; but upon being con- 
fronted by two cocked pistols, he changed his mind and drov<j on. 
About a mile further two wagons were seen coming from the di- 
rection of Denver and going in that of Georgetown, and when 
almost within hailing distance Messrs. Seminole and Johnson 


jumped out and took to the brusli, evidently fearing that Ander- 
son would call for assistance. Eelieved of his undesirable passen- 
gers, Anderson joined the other wagons, and in their company 
returned to Georgetown. 

That same afternoon, about half-past four, this pair of prec- 
ious scoundrels came to the house of R. B. Hayward, near Big 
Hill, Jefferson county, and engaged him to gear up and take 
them to a cattle camp they said they were hunting, supposed to 
be near A. Rooney's place, near Green mountain, just outside of 
Hogback. They passed the Mt. Vernon toll-gate at about half- 
past six that evening, and from here the fate of Mr. Hayward 
was an unfathomed mystery until his body was found. 

Of course Mr. Hay ward's people became uneasy on account 
of his failure to return the evening after he left, and when he did 
not come the next day Mrs. Hayward took steps to inform the 
Jefiterson county authorities of the circumstances under which 
her husband had gone away from home, and of his prolonged 
iibsence. They made thorough search, but failed to discover any- 
thing, either concerning Mr. Hayward's whereabouts, as to what 
disposition had been made of his team, or where the men were 
who had gone away with him. 

On the 16th of September, C. P. Hoyt, of the Rocky Mountain 
Detective Association, reported the facts of the mysterious ab- 
sence of Mr. Hayward to Superintendent Cook, and gave the de- 
scription of the two men last seen with the missing man. 

In the meantime, on September 11, the same two men (though 
the fact of the murder was not then known) went to Brown & 
Marr, of the 'bus barn, on Arapahoe street, Denver, and hired 
two bay mares and a top-rig buggy, paying four dollars in ad- 
vance. This was about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and they said 
they merely wanted to take a little spin around town and would 
return at a certain specified hour. As this time had long been 
passed. Brown & Marr placed the matter in the hands of the de- 
tective association late in the evening of the 11th, and they tele- 
graphed all over a description of the missing rig. About 11 
o'clock on the morning of the 12th, Superintendent Cook received 
a message from the town of Loveland, in Larimer county, stating 
that two men had abandoned a buggy answering the description 


of the missing one, and had mounted the mares and ridden off. 
An oflSeer was immediately dispatched to the scene, and sure 
enough it was the identical vehicle taken from the Denver stable. 

As it was now ascertained that the thieves had gone north. 
Superintendent Cook notified Assistant Superintendent Carr, at 
Cheyenne, to be on the lookout, and on the 14th of the month Gen. 
Cook received information from him that two men, answering 
the description of the two who had hired the horses and buggy, 
had remained all night in the vicinity of a ranch near La Porte, 
Larimer county. The men represented to the owner of the ranch 
that they belonged to a cattle outfit, and that the cattle were 
down in the bottoms near at hand, while the wagon containing 
the camping outfit was far to the rear. They were obliged to be 
with their cattle, they said, and would like to borrow a couple of 
buffalo robes until morning. The kind-hearted ranchman ac- 
ceded to their request, and never again beheld his robes, nor in 
the morning could he find any signs or traces of cattle. 

On the 22d of the same month, a gentleman named Leech, 
while riding from Laramie City to Cheyenne, on horseback, met 
two men mounted on bay mares, with folded buffalo robes as sad- 
dles, at the crossing of the Union Pacific railroad, four miles east 
of Sherman station. They stopped him, asked him what time it 
was, and where he lived, and as they had a hard look about them, 
he assured them he lived about two hundred yards from there, 
on the other side of a little butte, though the truth of the matter 
was, there wasn't a house within four miles of the spot. When 
Mr. Leech reached Chevenne he met Detective Carr, and men- 
tioned this meeting near Sherman, and when the oflScer gave a 
description of the missing horses and thieves, Mr. Leech recog- 
nized it immediately. 

Carr then went diligently to work, and after a while ascer- 
tained that on the 23d two men, riding bay mares, with no sad- 
dles, but buffalo robes in lieu thereof, had come to the ranch of 
Nick Janise, near Sidney bridge, on the North Platte. This in- 
formation was forwarded to Gen. Cook, and Mr. Leech, having 
come down to Denver on business, was interviewed at his hotel 
by Detective Joe Arnold, as a representative of Chief Cook, who 
had, as did also Gen. Cook, shrewd suspicions that the murderers 



of Hayward and the horse thieves were the same parties. He 
showed Mr. Leech a description of the men who had engaged 
Mr. Hayward to drive them to the cattle ranch, and that gentle- 
man immediately recognized them, being especially sure because 
of the white bone-handled knife and the revolvers carried by the 
suspicious-looking strangers. 

The result of this interview was that Detective W. W. Ayres, 
of the Rocky Mountain Association, was sent in pursuit of the 
men, starting from Denver on the 4th of October. By this time 
the Hayward murder had become state talk, as the mystery was 
still unsolved and as the cold-blooded nature of the affair had 
also become generally known. Currency was also given to the 
fact that he had left an intelligent wife and two bright daughters 
just budding into womanhood, to watch and wait for the return 
of the husband and father who would never return. 

There remained hardly any trace of doubt that Mr. Hayward 
had been murdered by the two men with whom he had started 
out. This suspicion was greatly strengthened by learning the late 
history of the two men who had gone with him, which history 
has been given in the beginning of this story. 

Mrs. Hayward was for a while almost frantic with grief at 
the loss of her husband, but she soon rallied with the genuine 
pluck which is the characteristic of most western women, and de- 
termined to do what she might to avenge his death. She of- 
fered a reward of |200 for the capture of the murderers. This, 
offer was followed by one from Jefferson county, agreeing to- 
pay $500 for their capture, and soon Gov. Pitkin proclaimed a 
reward on the part of the state of |1,000 for their apprehension^ 
making |1,700 the aggregate sum offered for the fugitives. 

As related above. Gen. Cook had already formed the theory^ 
though he kept it to himself, that the two men who had stolen 
the horses were the Hayward murderers, and he decided to have 
them followed to "the jumping-off place" if necessary, or get 
them. He had already formed a pretty definite theory as ta 
the destination of the two men. He had learned, among numer- 
ous other facts which he had gathered together, that Seminole 
was a half-breed Sioux Indian, and that he belonged at Pine 
Ridge agency, Dakota, where he had a family, going there by 


the name of J. S. Leuiscbamniesse. As lias already been seen, 
the men who stole the horses had turned their attention in 
that direction, and thitherward Cook directed Mr. Ayres, never 
informing him, however, that he had any suspicion that they 
were guilty of any crime greater than that of horse stealing, 
wisely concluding that if Seminole's fellow Indians knew that 
he was charged with murder and likely to be hanged, they would 
not permit the detective to bring him away, and believing that 
the best way of keeping this fact from them was to impart 
it to no one. On the other hand, they would, perhaps even assist 
the detective in getting him for horse stealing. 

Mr. Ayres had a long and arduous journey before him, as 
he could look forward to at least a thousand miles of stage- 
coaching and horseback riding in the north, with winter com- 
ing on, and with many hardships to endure in a land of savages. 
But he started out undaunted by the prospect, and the result 
shows how faithfullv he worked and how successfullv he 

While he is making his way across the almost pathless 
plains of Wyoming and Dakota, it is necessary to stop for a 
moment to relate to the reader the fact of the discovery of the 
body of Mr. Hayward. It was found on the 7th of October, 
three days after Ayres had left the citj^ and almost a month 
after Mr. Hayward had left home, in an old culvert on the 
Golden road, five miles from Denver. The body bore no tes- 
timon}' as to the manner or cause of death. It was greatly de- 
cayed, but still was not beyond identification, and the coroner's 
jury brought in the verdict that death was caused in all prob- 
ability by dislocation of the neck at the hand of a party or 
parties unknown. No wound or mark of violence could be found 
anywhere on the body, and the theories were that either the 
murderers had broken his neck with some dull instrument or 
else had poisoned him. 



In the meantime Detective Ayres bad gone to Cheyenne, 
taken horse there and ridden to Horse creek; from there to Big 
Horse creek, thence to Hawk Springs and into old Bed Cloud 
agency, on the Platte. Here he got information of the men he 
was after, and without loss of time pushed on to Running 
Water; from there to Camp Robinson, thence to Camp Sheridan, 
and then into Pine Ridge agency. The Indian agent, Mr. V. T. 
McGillycuddy proffered all assistance, and Joseph Seminole was 
soon under arrest. Not without considerable trouble, however, 
as shall appear. 

Mr. Ayres had taken letters to the agent and the military, 
and had been assured that he should have every assistance, as 
the Rocky Mountain Detective Agency was well known and 
highly respected in that far-away section. 

Not only the officers and the soldiers, but the Indian police 
as well, were anxious and willing to assist in running Seminole 
down. They recognized the description as soon as it was given 
them, and told the officer from the far-away region that they 
would find him forthwith, and volunteered to lead him to his 
place of abode. Ayres told them all he knew of the crimes 
charged against Seminole, the worst being that of horse-thiev- 
ing, and assured them that he was wanted on no more serious 
charge than that of showing his undue love for horseflesh. They 
professed great indignation that their nation should have been 
disgraced by the stealing of a single horse, and avowed that 
he should be sent back forthwith to answer for the offense. They 


seemed to dislike the fellow any way; possibly because he was 
a half-breed, but most likely for the reason that he was better 
educated than the rest of them, and held himself in a manner 
aloof from them. At any rate, they were quite willing to take 
the officer to him, saying that Seminole should not only be 
arrested, but that they would see that the officer should get 
away with him in good shape. 

This was as good a thing as Mr. Ayres wanted, and when 
he was well rested, the Indians, true to their promise, led him 
to the wigwam of the culprit. 

It may not have been a picture of peace and plenty which 
Seminole presented, but he certainly seemed to be quite con- 
tented, surrounded as he was by his squaw and papooses, who 
prattled about in the dirt, while he sat enjoying the bliss of 
a long-stemmed pipe. The surroundings were rude and coarse, 
but the half Indian appeared to be perfectly at home and at 

But the officer of the law can not stand back on account 
of any qualms of conscience or foolish sentiment when there 
are arrests to be made. His is not the part of preserving do- 
mestic felicity. 

When broken in upon, the murderer did not show any 
signs of fear, and when introduced to Mr. Ayres as an officer 
from Colorado in search of him, he manifested no disposition 
to make resistance. It may be that he asked rather impetuously 
to know the charge against him, but Ayres' answer that it was 
that of horse stealing reassured him, and he submitted quietly, 
and walked out of his wigwam stolidly, though with apparent 

The officer was led to believe that he had accomplished a 
big job with but little effort and was mentally congratulating 
himself accordingly. But all was not accomplished. There was 
much yet to be done. He felt that he had a wide and wild 
stretch of country to cover in getting home, and the idea of 
going through an Indian region alone, in charge of a half In- 
dian, was not a cheerful one. Not by any means. 

When Seminole was once out of his house the detective 
undertooiv to handcuff him. But the fellow had had time for a 


little self-introspectiou and meditation. The Hayward murder 
undoubtedly came into bis mind, and be began to feel tbat, 
whatever the charge upon which be was to be brought back tc^ 
Denver, he would be in danger of being discovered as the mur- 
derer, and he began to show fight at the sight of the handcuffs. 
He would not agree to have them put on, and when the officer 
attempted to force them on, struck at him. He was a strong 
man and able to get the best of the officer had he been unaided. 
But the Indian police came nobly to Ayres' rescue, and they 
laid Mr. Seminole low in very short order, and while he was 
prone upon the ground and kicking and scratching, the irons 
were adjusted. The scene was as wild a one in the interest of 
justice as ever fell to the lot of man to witness. 

The capture was now completed, and one of the murderers 
of "old man" Hayward was in the hands of an officer of the 
law, though on a dilferent charge and far away from the scene 
of the tragedy or the bounds of civilization. 

The officer found that on September 29, Seminole had sold 
his stolen bay mare to an Indian chief named Woman's Dress, 
giving a bill of sale, and signing thereto the name of Joseph 
Leuischammesse, which, upon being compared upon arrival at 
Denver with the writing of the order to the proprietor of the 
Summit house, proved that it was written by the same hand, 
the letters being formed identically alike. The other man, Tom 
Johnson, as he is still called, was not there. 

With an armed escort of Sioux Indians, Ayres started back 
with his prisoner. He [carted with his escort at Camp Robin- 
son, and at Pine BlutTs boarded a freight train, and took up 
(quarters in the caboose. 

About 3 o'clock of the next morning after taking passage 
on the freight, Mr. Ayres found himself minus the prisoner to 
capture whom he had risked so much and undergone so many 
iiardships. He had allowed the man to be out of his sight for 
a moment, and that moment had been embraced by the fellow 
to regain his liberty. The train was rattling along at more than 
ordinary freight train speed, so that Mr. Ayres did not dream 
of the handcufl'ed man's jumping from the train. But Seminole 
was a man who dared anything, and he boldly plunged out of 


the caboose into the darkness, and was once more free. Mr. 
Ayres' efforts to refind his man proved utterly futile, and noth- 
ing was left to him but to notify his chief. 

A great deal had been gained, but now everything seemed 
lost. By this time Cook had become entirely convinced that 
Seminole, or Leuischammesse, was one of the murderers of 
Hayward, and for that reason he determined to leave no stone 
unturned to recover his man. Consequently the matter was 
again placed in the hands of Assistant Superintendent Carr, and 
through the aid of the telegraph but a very few hours had 
elapsed when there were no less than fifteen cowboys scouring 
the plains under the leadership of Cattle Detective Cowles in 
the neighborhood of the point at which the escape was made, 
and in nine hours from the time of the escape the recapture 
had been effected. 

What could better serve to show the complete system upon 
which the Kocky Mountain Detective Association is organized? 

Without further incident of note, the wilv rascal was 
brought to Denver and taken to the county jail. He had become 
moody and cross, and was generally pronounced a rough cus- 
tomer by those with whom he came in contact. He would not 
talk at first at all. It was evident to Gen. Cook — who had kept 
his suspicion concerning the connection of Seminole with the 
Hayward murder to himself, even up to that time — that the 
fellow was living in dread of having his identity discovered. 
But Cook preserved a discreet silence. Mr. Ayres did not yet 
know the importance of the arrest which he had made. 

As soon as the fellow was securely locked in, Gen. Cook 
sent for Mrs. Hayward, the widow of the murdered man, who 
was brought to Denver by Detective Hoyt of Golden. Taking 
her to the jail building, he had seven or eight prisoners, in- 
cluding Seminole, and all of them corresponding in some re- 
spects in appearance with him, placed in a row in a room. 

Into this room Mrs. Hayward was guided, having been told 
what was expected of her, namely, that she should have an 
opportunity to identify the probable murderer of her husband. 
She was told to walk along the line in which Seminole stood 
as stolid as a block of stone, and find among the array, if she 


could, the guilty party. She passed rapidly down the line, look- 
ing at one man at a time, without stopping to hesitate, until 
she came to Seminole, when, getting a full view of him, she 
threw up her hands and exclaimed: 

"My God I that's the man. Take him away from me I" 
The identification was positive, and was a death blow to 
the half breed's hopes. Besides this, he was identified by 
Brown & Marr, by Dr. Burr, and others, so that no doubt as 
to his identity could by any possibility be entertained. Seeing 
that he was in for i(, Seminole made a full confession. 



While Seminole was in jail here, Detective Cook determined 
to obtain from him some information which would lead to the 
apprehension of Woodruff, of whom all trace had now been lost. 
He accordingly sent a detective to the jail in response to Semi- 
nole's request for a lawyer, and who, while professing to be a 
legal adviser, obtained from Seminole all he knew of his compan- 
ion in crime and the particulars of the murder. He stated that 
while riding with Mr. Hayward they rode behind, the old man in 
front, driving; that Johnson suddenly clutched Hay ward about 
the throat and choked him to death, while he, Seminole, took the 
lines and handled the horses; that the breakage of the neck was 
occasioned when they heaved the body out of the wagon when 
about to shove him under the little bridge where it was found; 
that at half-past ten the same night, they drove the wagon and 
mules into Denver and put up at the Western barn ; that in the 
morning they took the outfit around to Paul «& Strickler's, on 
Fifteenth street, and tried to have it sold at auction, but learning 
that the sale would not take place until afternoon, they went 
back to the barn, and finally sold it to a Leadville teamster for 
$190, Woodruff giving the bill of sale and signing the name 
Thomas Logan to it; that they then went to Brown & Marr's 
and hired the buggy and mares, and followed exactly the route 
as traced, and that at Sidney bridge they separated, Woodruff 
going to the right, in the direction of the Niobrara river, while 
he kept straight on to the Pine Ridge agency, where he was cap- 



As to bis companion, Seminole said his right name was 
Woodruff, though he had been known only as Tom Johnson in 
Colorado. He knew that Woodruff was a stonecutter by trade, 
and that he had been pardoned out of the Wyoming penitentiary 
after serving three years for killing a man named John Friehl, 
with whose wife Woodruff had been too intimate. The fellow 
gave a complete description of Woodruff, and seemed decidedly 
reckless as to whether his companion in crime should be caught 
or not. He made his confession in a cold-blooded manner, and 
gave no reason for the murder of Hay ward, except that they 
wanted his team, and thought it would be best to have the 
owner conveniently hidden away while they were carrying for- 
ward their operations in Denver and getting out of the country. 

Gen. Cook concluded that the best place to look for Wood- 
ruff was the place at which he had last been seen by Seminole, 
and consequently sent detectives to the Niobrara region. This 
time Mr. Ayres, who had captured Seminole, was sent out, and 
was accompanied by Mr. C. A. Hawley, who, being one of the 
most courageous as well as one of the shrewdest members of the 
association, was selected for this task, because it was believed 
that there would be some lively work in arresting Woodruff, who 
was known to be desperate as well as cunning. 

"But you must get him, Hawley," said Cook to his deputy 
when he left. ''I trust the work to you, and expect'you to do it 
up in good shape." 

"If he is to be had, you can depend on me," said Hawley. "I 
am ready for him and go to find him." 

'The two detectives made the trip to Niobrara with all pos- 
sible haste. When they arrived there they began to look around 
for their man. One day when they came close upon an individual 
who answered the general description of Woodruff, that individ- 
ual, finding that he was closely watched by the officers, and sus- 
pecting them to be officers, jumped on his horse and rode off at a 
lively gait. Inquiry revealed the fact that this man was known 
as Tom Johnson. They felt convinced that he was the man that 
they wanted, and they went after him with all possible haste. 
A wild chase he led them, too, over the uninhabited country of 
western Nebraska. Knowing the lay of the land better than the 


officers did, he was able to evade them for a long time, and at the 
end of a week of as hard work as often falls to the lot of detec- 
tives, they overtook and captured him. 

After taking the fellow, they had doubts as to whether he 
was the man they were seeking; but concluded that a man who 
would act as suspiciousl}' as he had been acting must be guilty of 
some crime, and whether it was that of the murder of the Colo- 
rado ranchman, or some other, mattered little to them. IIen(;e 
they determined to bag him and to bring him to Denver, which 
determination they put into execution, landing here with him 
near the middle of November. The fellow proved not to be 
Woodruff, but it was soon ascertained that he was a fugitive 
from justice from. Omaha, where he had been guilty of horse 
stealing; and it may be remarked in passing, that he was sent 
to that city and tried, and that he had to serve out a seven- 
years' sentence in the penitentiary of Nebraska, Thus the officers 
only brought down the wrong game when they fired, though they 
did not waste their ammunition, Shakespeare tells us that con- 
science makes cowards of us all. Johnson's conscience certainly 
put him behind the bars at Lincoln City. 

This episode did not delay matters a great deal. Gen. Cook 
had been on the qui rive while his officers were out, and had 
learned that Woodruff had relatives living either in Iowa or east- 
ern Nebraska, and he had come to the conclusion that the fugitive 
murderer would most likely fly to them for protection and to es- 
cape detection. The sequel will prove that in this case, as in most 
others where he forms a theory as -to the conduct of fugitive 
criminals, he was right. Hence he decided to send Hawley to 
look up Woodruff's relatives, with the hope of also finding Wood- 
ruff. He had heard that they resided in the country before Haw- 
ley started, and suggested to him that it would be a good idea 
for him to play the role of a granger, in case it would serve his 
purpose. It was also decided to make the most of the capture 
of Johnson, the story of which was published in the newspapers 
in such a way as to lead to the inference that Johnson was the 
man wanted, the belief being that Woodruff would see the papers, 
and seeing this article, would conclude that the officers had been 



outwitted and taken the wrong man. he would become careless, 
and hence be all the more easily come up with. 

While the people were reading the story of Johnson's cap- 
ture, the next morning after his arrival from Niobrara, believing 
that the murderer had really been overtaken, Hawley was pre- 
paring to start upon a second excursion in search of that indi- 
vidual. He again started out to find his man. This time he did 
find him, "and no foolinV' either. 

There was one important point to be gained in making the 
search. No one knew definitely where Woodruff's relatives lived, 
though they were known to be residents of the vicinity of Council 
Bluffs or Omaha. 

Going first to Omaha, and then crossing the Missouri to 
Council Bluffs, the detective took a train on the Chicago, Burling- 
ton and Quincy railroad and went down the road about fifty 
miles, keeping his eyes and ears widely open in the hope of get- 
ting the slightest trace of the party he was after; and then, dis- 
gusted, returned to Council Bluffs and went to his hotel. From a 
man whom he met there he learned that James W. Woodruff, 
known to a brother of Sam, lived at Big Grove, thirty miles dis- 

Disguising himself as a granger, he got a pony and a letter 
from Mr. Phelps, of the Ogden hotel, to his foreman, Walter Far- 
well, on his stock ranch, near the house of the Woodruff's, and 
started off. The stock ranch was about twenty-eight and a half 
miles from Council Bluffs, and here Hawley hired out as a corn- 
busker, and went to work. James Woodruff's place w^as about a 
mile and a half further on. 

Hawley passed under the name of Charles Albert, and after 
working one day at corn-husking, prevailed upon the foreman to 
send him out, the following morning, looking for lost stock. It 
must be mentioned that while husking corn, the detective was 
incidentally told by Mr. Farwell of the late arrival of a brother 
of James Woodruff, said to be direct from the Black Hills, and 
with a |1),000 bank account in Deadwood. He had been home but 
ten days, and Hawley shrewdly suspected that this brother was 
the Samuel he was after. So in the course of his rambles about 
after lost stock, he stopped at the Woodruff farm, and learned 


that they had moved into the town of Big Grove. The officer 
thereupon circled and rode into the little village from the (;ast, 
and spotted the Woodruff house, returning immediately there- 
after to Phelps' stock place. 

After unsaddling his pony and getting something to eal, he 
started for Council Bluffs, leaving at about 11 in the morning 
and arriving at about 4 in the afternoon. Here, on the 25th 
of November, he swore out a warrant for the arrest of Samuel 
Woodruff, before Justice Baird, and securing the services of Con- 
stable Theodore Guiltar, they took a two-seated buggy, and at 
10 that night started for the stock farm again, getting there 
about 3 o'clock in the morning, and seeking the barn for rest. 
But two hours later they were rudely awakened by an attendant, 
who didn't '^sabe" the presence of two rough-looking tramps. 

After feeding their horses and obtaining breakfast, they 
drove down to Big Grove, and leaving their team concealed in the 
bushes on the outskirts, walked into the town. They noticed 
their man at work near the Woodruff house, but as soon as he 
saw the two strangers he stopped his labors and went within. 
The officers then walked on down to the store of a Mr. Freeman, 
and while llawley talked about the chances of getting work on 
the railroad, his companion went out and borrowed a double-bar- 
reled shot gun. 

The detective discharged both barrels out of the back door, 
and then carefully loaded the weapon with a handful of buckshot 
in each barrel, stating to Guittar that it meant "death to either 
himself or Woodruff'," in case of an escape or failure to capture. 
A little later James W^oodruff, the brother, came driving down 
the street, and hitched his team a short distance from Freeman's 
store; and, coming up to the latter place, began a series of ques- 
tioning and re-(iuestioning, evidently endeavoring to pump the 
disguised detective; however, with little success. 

I'erhaps an hour was consumed in this manner, and then he 
left, and a few^ minutes later Hawley saw the two Woodruffs com- 
ing down the street together. James carried an axe and Sam a 

The detective pulled back the hammers of his shot gun, and 
watched the men through the window. 



As they neared the store, Hawley stepped out, apparently 
closely examining something about the locks of his weapon, and 
when the brothers reached the store, the officer brought the gun 
to his shoulder and said: 

"Sam Woodruff, throw up j^our hands; I want you." 
Quick as a flash the desperado's fist sought his revolver. But 
the cool, quiet tones of the officer, "Pull that pistol one inch, and 
I'll blow daylight through you," caused him to let go his grip and 
throw up his hands above his head. 

Constable Guittar then applied the handcuffs and shackles, 
and disarmed the man, and he was immediately marched down 
the street a little way, while a boy was sent after the officers' 
team. The brother, James, attempted a few demonstrations, but 
Hawley's revolver, cocked and held in position, quieted his ardor. 

Five minutes later, and the officers and their prisoner were 
driving towards Council Bluffs at full speed, and as soon as iden- 
tified by Justice Baird and turned over to Hawley, he was taken 
to Omaha and there lodged in jail. 

Hawley, being out of funds, now telegraphed Sheriff Cook 
for money, and though instantly forwarded, through some red- 
tapeism of the telegraph company he was delayed until too late 
to catch the train of that day. On the next, however, the detec- 
tive and his prisoner left, reaching Cheyenne on the 29th at 1 
o'clock in the afternoon. Before starting, the officer telegraphed 
Sheriff Gregg at Fremont, and Sheriff Con. Groner of North 
Platte, to meet him for the purpose of identification of his pris- 
oner. This these officers did, and fully identified the man as 
Samuel Woodruff'. At North Platte, in addition to the sheriff, 
Martin Oberst, night clerk of the Railroad hotel, recognized him 
as having stopped at the house two or three weeks before, when 
he signed his correct name. At Cheyenne he was further iden- 
tified by the sheriff, and T. Jeff Carr of the detective association, 
and upon arrival in Denver, the next day, Mr. Hunter, who was 
in the city on business, recognized him as having stopped at his 
ranch on the Niobrara river, on or about the 18th of September. 

When brought to the sheriff's office, Woodruff refused to say 
anything, though on the journey he had denied all knowledge of 


the murder. He was driven over to the jail, and his copartner 
in crime, Joseph Seminole, brought into his presence. 

''Hello, Clarke," was Woodruff's exclamation, "what are you 
doing here?" 

To this Seminole merely shrugged his shoulders. 

''I used to know that man as Clarke when we were together 
in the penitentiary at Laramie City," Woodruff added, explan- 
atorily, to the officers. 

And with this these two scoundrels were locked up in separ- 
ate cells. One thing worthy of note was that Seminole's descrip- 
tion of the revolver carried by Woodruff tallied exactly with the 
weapon which Woodruff wore when arrested. 

Much of the above is taken from the Denver Tribune, as told 
its reporter by the detectives. At this stage of the proceedings 
the Tribune was led to remark: "To the Rocky Mountain De- 
tective Agency a great deal of credit is deservedly due for the 
able and persistent manner in which this matter has been worked 
up, and this final capture had added increased lustre to the rep- 
utation already borne by this excellent organization. To D. J. 
Cook, C. A. Hawley, W. W. Ayres, Joe Arnold, T. J. Carr and 
C. P. Hoyt, the officers who have worked up the affair, special 
honor is due. They have been untiring in their efforts, and un- 
sparing in their expenditures, and now have the pleasure of see- 
ing total success crown their labors. Officers Cook and Arnold 
have secured the wagon that belonged to the murdered man from 
a Mr. Todd, in Douglas country, and will soon have the mules." 

On the 3d of December, three days after Woodruff's arrival 
in the city, Mrs. Hayward and her two daughters, Minnie and 
Cora, aged then thirteen and fifteen, respectively, arrived in the 
city, accompanied by Detective Hoyt, of Golden, and proceeded 
to the jail to identify the prisoner. When all was ready, Wood- 
ruff was brought from his cell into the parlor of the jail. Mrs. 
Hayward sat upon the sofa facing the door, Cora on her left 
and Minnie on the right. Sheriff Cook stood at the head of 
the sofa, and the other officials near the windows and the door. 
As Woodruff entered the room, he shot one glance out of his 
dark eyes at the visitor on the sofa, and then dropped them, 
never again raising them during the remainder of the inter- 


view except once, and then to reply to a question. His nervous- 
ness was quite apparent, the trembling and twitching of his 
hands being very perceptible. 

A moment's silence, after he had taken his seat, and then 
Mrs. Hay ward said: 

"Minnie, is that the man?" 

''Yes," was the positive and quick reply of the little girl, 
never raising her eyes from the close scrutiny with which she 
had regarded the prisoner from his entrance. 

"You are sure he is the man," continued Mrs. Hayward, and 
the answer was as quick and as positive as before. 

The other daughter, Cora, now spoke. "I know that is the 
man," she said, and the mother, turning to Sheriff Cook, said 
slowly: "Yes, that is the man — there is no mistake." 

At this moment Joseph Seminole was brought into the 
room. "And there is the other," said Mrs. Hayward — the two 
daughters agreeing in like words. Then Gen. Cook asked Wood- 
ruff if he desired to ask any questions to test the visitors' be- 
lief, and received the reply, "My lawyer will do my talking." 

There was no longer any room for doubt. The two scoun- 
drels who had killed -an innocent man and who had led the 
officers such a chase as few criminals before or since their time 
ever did, had been overtaken by the Rocky Mountain Detective 
Association. It had been a long but a successful chase. They 
had been taken and securely locked in the Arapahoe county 
jail, where they had been fully identified and where they 
awaited orders from the Jefferson county authorities. 



The last chapter of this somewhat remarkable story at last 
opens. It is, if anything, the most thrilling of the series, as it 
relates the tragic end of the tMO men who have figured in these 
pages to considerable length, and with whom we began when 
we left Middle park in August of 1879. It is now December 
28 of the same year, and the story is drawing to its close. Over 
three months have elapsed since Mr. Hay ward, the quiet citizen 
and loving father and husband, was killed by these villains, 
but his neighbors, who knew him and appreciated his worth, 
had not forgotten the horror of the crime, nor allowed the pass- 
ing days to carry with them their desire to avenge the great 
wrong that had been committed. 

The scene is now laid at Golden. Gen. Cook, for the 
Rocky Mountain Detective Association, had taken the murderers 
to Golden, that being the county seat of Jefferson county, on the 
9th of December, and hearing that there was a likelihood of 
an effort being made to lynch the scamps, took precautions to 
prevent such a result. It had long been his boast that no pris- 
oner had ever been taken from his hands and lynched, and he 
did not propose to have his creditable reputation blackened now. 
He was fully prepared to meet any attempt upon the lives of 
the men that might be made, and appreciating the sort of man 
they were dealing with, the Jefferson vigilantes wisely decided 
to await "a more convenient season" for the putting into execu- 
tion of any designs they might have. The prisoners feared 
lynching, and trembled when Cook and his party left them 
after they had been identified and placed in jail. Woodruff 
said: "I fear those old farmers who were Hay ward's neigh- 


bors. They are a f>reat deal more determined and bitter than 

His fears were well founded. The dreadful hour came 
shortly after midnight on the cool, crisp Sunday morninfj of 
Christmas week of '79. 

A few minutes before 12 o'clock Saturday night the late 
habitues of saloons and billiard halls, as well as others who 
happened to be awake at that hour, noticed the riding along 
the principal street of numerous horsemen, who came from ap- 
parently all directions and iu little squads of two, three, half 
a dozen or so. They noticed that these silent horsemen all 
rode toward the jail, and all seemed to be intent on some 
urgent business. Then, remembering the oft-repeated murmurs 
of lynching made against the imprisoned murderers of poor old 
Hayward, a number of citizens followed in the wake of the 
strangers, who made at the jail a cavalcade of at least a hun- 
dred men, armed to the teeth and grimly seated upon their 
horses, not even talking or whispering among themselves. 

A consultation between the chief and his lieutenants took 
place upon the steps leading to the first floor above the base- 
ment of the court house, and a few minutes later, without noise 
or confusion, a large circle of guards was spread around the jail 
and some two or three hundred yards distant from it. These grim . 
sentinels were but a few paces apart, and some were mounted 
and some on foot. Every member of this avenging band wore 
a mask, or a handkerchief across the face, or had his features 
blackened with burnt cork, so that recognition was absolutely 
impossible. No one was permitted to pass this cordon of guards, 
no matter what the excuse. One man climbed a telegraph pole 
and the telephone wire from the jail was cut, and thus all com- 
munication to and from the building was ended. Then the 
horses were ridden to a vacant lot opposite and tied, while the 
riders dismounted and closed in upon the jail. There was no 
noise or confusion. Everything had been carefully planned, and 
every man had a certain position and a certain duty assigned, 
and he silently took the one and performed the other. 

There Avere in the building, aside from the prisoners in the 
cells, Under Sheriff Joseph Boyd, who was asleep with his fam- 


ily in a rear room, and an extra watchman, Edgar Cox, who 
was lying upon a bench in the sheriff's office. Hearing the 
sound of feet on the frozen earth outside, Cox rose to a sitting 
position and looked up at the windows, the curtains of which 
were raised. At each window he saw, to his stupefaction, two 
or three men, who had rifles in their hands. Their gleaming 
barrels pointed directly at him, and a stern voice simply said: 

"Don't move, or you'll get hurt." 

Under the circumstances Cox did not move, but sat gazing 
at the deadly weapons which so steadily and unrelentingly 
covered him, while he could hear the heavy tramp of men march- 
ing in at the front door and filing down the inside stairs to 
the basement. 

This same tramp, tramp of many feet, foretelling something 
unusual, reached the ears of Under Sheriff" Boyd, who was in 
bed, and he suddenly awoke with the feeling that there was 
trouble ahead. Hastily pulling on his clothes he rushed out 
of his room, and saw the two rooms from which the two doors 
open into the jail part, teeming with masked and armed men, 
who apparently paid no attention to him whatever. As he 
passed the ''feeding" door — so termed because through this the 
prisoners' meals are taken in to them — he noticed that the outer 
wooden door was splintered and the lock broken off. Pushing 
his way through to the front room, he mounted to the third 
step of the stairs leading to the first floor, and raising his 
voice, said: 

''Gentlemen, listen to me one moment. You are, or I take 
jou to be, law-abiding and law-loving citizens, and yet you are 
now engaged in unlawful proceedings. I beg of you to cease, 
and not in your indignation or passionate feelings take the law 
into your own hands. Rest assured justice will be obtained, 
oven though it take a little longer." 

At this juncture three men at the foot of the stairs piilled 
their revolvers and covered the speaker, while one said: 

"Hands up. sir — we know our business." 

To which Boyd replied: 

"I'll not hold up my mands. I know you have not come 
here to harm me," and recommenced his expostulation and en- 
treatv to the men in front of him. 


In the meantime, a number of the vigilantes had attacked 
the iron-grated door with sledge hammers and crowbars. Every 
blow told, and sinewy and muscular arms sent the heavy in- 
struments to the points where they would do the most good. 

The under sheriff still continued his address to the men, 
and finally the leader, a tall, well-built man, ordered three of 
his fellows to take Boyd into custody and remove him. They 
instantly complied and the officer was taken into the inner 
room, where he still continued his protestations. The blows fell 
thick and fast upon the great strong lock and at last with a 
crash it gave way and the door swung open, and those terrible, 
determined men swarmed within. 

Previous to all this the prisoners were sound asleep in their 
cells, save one, Joseph Murphy, in for petty larceny and who 
was out of his cell, being on duty in keeping up the fire and 
such other little chores as might be necessary. 

As the assault began upon the bolts of the iron door. Wood- 
ruff awoke with a start, and sprang to the grating of his cell, 
where he glared in tremulous anxiety upon the bars that were 
trembling beneath the rain of blows. Seminole, too, awoke 
about the same time, and began a low moaning in his terrible 
fear, though he did not arise from his bed, but as the door at 
last gave way, and the crowd rushed in, he gave vent to a 
cry which is described as being more like the shriek of some 
wild animal than any other noise. 

Without loss of time the vigilantes attacked the padlocks 
on cells fourteen and twelve, the former being Woodruff's and 
the latter Seminole's. Noticing the liberty of Murphy, and sup- 
posing that he might attempt to escape in the confusion, the 
leader of these midnight dispensers of justice went to Boyd, 
who was still under guard, and told him he had better lock up 
such prisoners as might be loose. 

"W^ill you pledge your word of honor for yourself and men 
that you will not touch the keys if I get them?" asked the 
faithful official. 

"Yes," was the brief but evidently earnest reply. 

Calling the watchman. Cox, and accompanied still by his 
masked guard, Boyd went to the vault and began to work the 


combination that opened it. Before giving the last twist, how- 
ever, he turned to his silent captors, and said: 

"You have heard the pledge given by your captain, or 
chief, or whatever you call him, in relation to the keys; have 1 
your words of honor also?" 

They bowed a grim assent, and a moment later the bolt 
shot back and the iron door turned on its hinges. Taking the 
keys the official entered the jail and locked Murphy up. As 
he passed the cells containing two burglars^ they begged to 
be released, fearing lest the vigilantes would also make an 
example of them. Boyd assured them that they would not 
be harmed, or at least he would do all in his power to protect 

In the meantime cold chisels had cut into the cell pad- 
locks, and sledge hammers completed the job. Woodruff was 
on his feet and showed fight, but his visitors were determined 
men, and the cold-blooded murderer was soon rendered docile, 
a few raps with the butt of a revolver being administered on 
the top of his head. He was carried out and laid upon his 
stomach on the floor, his face resting upon his left side, while 
skillful and willing hands bound his wrists together behind his 
back. As he was being taken from his cell he made but one 
remark : 

"Gentlemen, you are mistaken. I am innocent of this 

When the tying was completed he was lifted up to a sitting 
posture and asked for the captain, referring to Boyd, and that 
officer immediately came forward. 

Laying hand upon the shoulder of the prisoner, Boyd said: 

"Well, Woodruff, what can I do for you?" 

Woodruff raised his dark eyes to the kindly face above 
him, and with a low voice, inexpressibly sad and full of feel- 
ing, said: 

"Captain, w-rite to my wife — and to my brother, and tell 
them all about this, will you? Don't forget it. Write to (and 
a name was given which the officer forgets) and tell him to 
avenge my death — he'll do it." 


"Gentlemen," he said, turning to his captors, "this is not 
the last of this." 

Then Boyd said: "Is that all I can do for you, Sam?" 

"Yes," said the prisoner, "all — all." 

During all this time the men had been hammering away at 
Seminole's cell, and as Woodruff finished speaking, the door 
was opened and a number of men sprang within. Seminole was 
lying upon his face moaning fearfully in his terror. He was 
quickly picked up and carried out, and his hands bound behind 
him in like manner to Woodruff's. 

Without further hesitation or delay and in perfect silence 
the prisoners, the manacles on their ankles clanking a dismal 
dead march, were taken out through the front door of the 
basement and taken in the direction of the Golden and South 
Platte railroad, three or four hundred vards distant. Woodruff 
refused to walk, and was half carried and half pushed, but 
Seminole did what he could in the way of locomotion, and in 
a few minutes the men were on the railroad bridge that crosses 
Kinney creek. 

The bridge is a timber one, having three spans, supported 
on spiles resting on wooden foundations. A rope three-eighths 
of an inch in diameter was produced, which was supposed to 
be long enough to hang both men, but being found too short, a 
delay occurred while a new one, an inch in diameter, was ob- 
tained. Woodruff was stationed on the end nearest Denver, and 
Seminole just five sleepers further away. With nooses about 
their necks, the other ends of the ropes being fastened to the 
projecting ends of the timbers (notches being cut to prevent 
any slipping), the men stood. 

"Sam Woodruff, do you wish to say anything?" was the grim 
question of the masked leader. 

The man addressed looked around upon the crowd in silence 
a few moments, and then, without further preface, said: 

"Gentleman, 3'ou are hanging an innocent man, but I trust 
God will forgive vou, as I do. Mav I sav mv pravers?" 

xVssent being given, the doomed man knelt and silently 
prayed to the Almighty. When he had finished he arose to his 
feet and, looking once more upon his captors, said: 


"I haye one last request to make. Permit me to jump off the 
bridge; don't push me to my death." 

But his request was not granted, and a few moments later a 
dozen hands pushed him off the edge — off the edge into eternity. 

When Seminole was asked if he had anything to say. he 
choked a moment and then, in a clear, distinct voice, said : 

"Gentlemen, I have but little to say, and I address myself to 
those among you who may be erring ones. Beware of the first 
bad step. The after ones are not to be feared; it is the begin- 
nings. But for my first evil break I would not be standing here 
to-night with this rope about my neck and death staring me in 
the face. In relation to this murder, gentlemen, we two are the 
guilty ones. We committed the crime. I have no excuse to offer, 
nothing to say." 

And then, raising his head toward heaven, his lips moving 
tremulously, he broke out with, "O, God Almighty, have mercy 
on my sinful soul; and as Thou hast shown Thy love and tender- 
ness in times past to weak and guilty ones, show such to me now. 
Guard, oh, I pray Thee, mj- mother and brothers, and let not 
them follow in my footsteps or take my sinful path. Forgive me 
my transgressions, O God, and" — his voice broke slightly — "take 
me to Thee, sinful though I am." And then, in simple but beauti- 
ful and eloquent terms, he prayed for the well-being and salvation 
of his captors and executioners. 

During this prayer the vigilantes stood around, with hats 
removed and heads bowed, in reverential listening. It was a 
sombre, impressive picture. The moonlight shining cold and clear 
upon the scene; the fated man, with eyes turned towards the 
zenith, one foot upon the iron rail of the track, the other upon 
the tie to which was attached the rope that drooped from his 
neck; the swinging, twitching body of his companion in crime 
dangling in awful solitude below; the congregated men with un- 
covered and bent heads, and their faces hid beneath grim masks; 
the polished barrels of rifles and guns gleaming in the moon- 
beams, and the grave-like silence alone broken by the earnest, 
feeling words of the speaker — a picture never to be forgotten. 
And when at last the lips were closed and the fatal push was 



given, even the stern executioners of inexorable law felt a tremor 
run through their stalwart, muscular limbs. 

Seminole died instantly, his neck being broken in the fall, 
but swinging past the spiles the skin on the knuckles of his right 
hand was rubbed off. Woodruff died hard, his struggles for 
breath being distinctly heard, and his limbs twitching convul- 

The work was done, and the vigilantes slowly retraced their 
steps to their horses, and without a word mounted to their sad- 
dles, while the two bodies hanging beneath the bridge twisted 
and twirled, and finally rested motionless, stirred only now and 
then by a passing breeze that played fitfully with their fast stif- 
fening forms. 

During the confusion in securing the prisoners in the jail, 
Mr. Boyd managed to get to the telephone and attempted to 
communicate with the town. But in vain. Then he sent Cox, the 
watchman, off to alarm Sheriff Belcher, but ere the messenger 
had proceeded a dozen yards he was stopped and returned to the 
o'clock he was awakened by his brother-in-law. Archer DeFrance, 
building. The sheriff was asleep at his home when, about 1 
who told him that something was going on at the jail, and a few 
moments later a black watchman named Baker, who had been 
especially instructed in view of such an emergency, came in with 
the alarm also. A few minutes later and the sheriff was hasten- 
ing at the top of his speed towards the jail on the hill. But he 
was too late. The murderers of R. B. Hayward had gone to their 
final account, and the vigilantes, with the exception of a guard 
on the ridge near the bodies, had disappeared as quietly and 
mysteriously as they had come. Then the sheriff went for the 
coroner, Dr. Joseph W. Anderson, and without loss of time that 
officer arrived upon the ground. While he was examining the 
bodies the coroner was hailed by the vigilantes with : 

"What are you doing?" 

''Examining into your devilish work.'' 

"Are they dead?" 

"Yes; deader than hell." 

"All right. Hayward is avenged. Good night." And the 
sentinel horsemen rode off with a parting wave of their hands. 

The Lynching of Woodruff and Seminole at Uoiden. 



As the main body of men left the scene of the lyncliino, thev 
fired a farewell shot from Itieir pistols, and as their number was 
variously estimated at from one hundred to a hundred and fifty, 
it made quite a volley. 

After viewing the hanged men, the coroner ordered the sher- 
itf to cut them down, which was done, and D. I*. Maynard having 
been sent for and arriving with his express wagon, the corpses 
were taken up and conveyed to an unoccupied storeroom on Ford 
street. Here they were placed under the care of two watchers, 
<ind about D o'clock in the morning were conveyed to the court 
house, where, an hour later, the jury impaneled by the coroner 
held the inquest, and brought in a verdict to the effect that Sem- 
inole and Woodruff "came to their death upon the 28th day of 
December, 1879, being taken from the jail and custody of the 
said jailer of said counts' by force and violence, between the hours 
of 12 and 1 o'clock a. m., and hanged by the neck by parties un 
known to tliis jury, and with felonious intent." 

After the tragedy the undertaker laid the bodies out in plain 
pine boxes, ])ainted black on the outside, and, untying their 
hands, crossed them in front. Woodruff" was dressed in a dark 
■check shirt, duck overall and cotton stockings, without shoes. 
His eyes were half open, and his mouth, with its lips slightly 
^part, disclosed his regular teeth beneath. During his confine- 
ment in Golden he had not shaved, and a rough growth of beard 
<!Overed his cheeks and chin. His forehead was covered with 
blood that dripped from the wounds on the top of his head. 
<;aused by the necessary rapping given with the pistol butt when 
taking liim out of his cell. 

Seminole wore a checkered vest and a dark sack coat over his 
undershirt. Dark pantaloons, brown mixed stockings and Indian 
moccasins completed the balance of his attire. His mouth and 
eyes were firmly closed, and from either corner of the shut lips a 
streak of blood ran down upon his neck, while watery matter 
oozed slightly from his left eye. His face was considerably 
swollen, and decomposition soon set in. The knots on both 
nooses had slipped around to the front, immediately beneath the 
<;hin, and had cut somewhat into the flesh of both men. The back 
of Woodruff's neck was badlv cut and much swollen, and blood 


marked the courses on both necks followed hj the rope. In order 
to accommodate Woodruff's bodj, a* box six feet seven inches 
long was necessary, and six feet one inch for Seminole. 

Monday afternoon, succeeding the day of the lynching, no 
answer having been received from relatives, both Seminole and 
Woodruff were buried in the Golden cemetery. 

And thus Samuel Woodruff and Joseph Seminole pass out 
of the world's daily history, and another terrible example is re- 
corded to give terror to all evil-doers. 

Recording the tragedy as above related, the Tribune of De- 
tember 30 said : 

"In wandering through the town of Golden yesterday, and 
conversing with business men of all grades of social and intellec- 
tual standing, the reporter failed to find one solitary person who 
condemned this recent lynching. On every side the popular ver- 
dict seemed to be that the hanging was not only well merited, but 
a positive gain to the county, saving it at least five or six thou- 
sand dollars. In plumply asking the question from thirteen rep- 
resentative men, the Tribune commissioner met with the unvary- 
ing response: 'It was the best thing possible, and we are all 
glad of it.' " 



Mr. Joseph Aruold, known to his friends and the community 
at large as ''Joe," has for many years past been one of the most 
trusted of Gen. Cook's assistant detectives. To him have been 
entrusted many of the cases which required the closest attention 
to detail, and a capacity to pick up clues which others less shrewd 
and less familiar with the small traits of human nature would 
bave allowed to go unnoticed. He is a typical detective. He is 
one of the best men on a cold trail in the whole country, and is as 
plausible as a courtier when it is necessary to be plausible. At 
other times he is quite disposed to be taciturn, and he never 
gives anything away. 

One of Joe's best pieces of detective work was done in the 
vear 1878, and it illustrates his shrewdness about as well as any 
story which can be told of him. This consisted in the working up 
of the case of Christian J. Schuttler, as big a pious fraud as ever 
dawned upon Denver. Schuttler had for many years lived in 
Johnson county. Iowa, twelve miles from Iowa City. He was a 
man of over fifty years of age, the head of a family consisting of 
a wife and twelve children. He was a member of the Amish 
Society, a branch of the Dunkard faitli. and was a leader among 
them. Indeed, he was at the head of the society in Johnson 
county, if not in the entire state of Iowa. He was the financial 
agent and manager of his society, attending to all the business of 
his people with the outside world for the entire community. The 
society in Iowa was prosperous, because industi-ious and frugal. 


and Schuttler, as their agent, had almost unlimited credit. He 
was trusted everywhere as a man of extreme probity and honor; 
probably because he wore a long beard, as the Amish people 
never shave; had a meek look in his eyes, spoke in a low tone, 
wore hooks and eyes instead of buttons, and carried other ex- 
ternal signs wiiich made him appear a man whom the w^orld 
should trust; but most probably because he had the confidence 
of his own people, and because they backed him as a bod}' in his 
financial and other operations. At any rate, he was trusted im- 
plicitly, and this fact led to his falling into Joe Arnold's hands. 

. As general business agent for his organization, Schuttler 
often made business visits to Chicago. What his general conduct 
there was on these occasions is not known in detail, but it is sup- 
posed to have generally been very loose, though he was not sus- 
pected by those who trusted him until after the occurrences^ 
which are about to be related. 

Schuttler made one of these visits to Chicago in the early 
part of 1878, and during that visit disappeared mysteriously from 
the sight of his friends and acquaintances. He had gone to Chi- 
cago for the purpose of selling for his society thirteen carloads of 
fine beef cattle, which had been prepared for the market by his 
Dunkard friends. Before leaving, as was afterwards ascertained, 
he had borrowed $4,000 in currency from the Johnson County 
Bank, of which Mr. John Conden was cashier, and also various 
small sums from other persons. He had been gone several days 
before any uneasiness began to be felt; but when at last, after 
some two or three weeks of waiting, nothing was heard of him, 
his friends began to grow uneasy, and took the initiatory steps 
towards making a search for him, if alive, and for his body, if 
dead. Letters were written to Chicago, but only elicited the fact 
that he had arrived there with his cattle, and had sold them and 
gotten the money for them. The cashier of a bank remembered 
seeing Schuttler in his bank, where he had gone out with a draft 
for 110,000. This was the last trace which had been found. 
Search was made everywhere in Chicago, but no one could be 
found who could throw any light upon the mystery, which deep- 
ened every day. Advertisements were put in the papers. Friends 
became uneasy for the man's personal safety; creditors grew anx- 



ious for other reasons; his family was terribly distressed for their 
own welfare, as well as for that of the father and husband. But 
no good tidings were received with which to appease the general 

Hardly any one believed that Schuttler had disappeared of 
his own accord. As has been said, he was trusted by all and sus- 
pected by none. It was believed that he had been robbed for his 
money, and the suspicion that he had also been murdered grad- 
ually took possession of the public mind. 

At last a heavy reward was offered for the finding of the 
man, dead or alive, and for any clue which would aid in clearing 
up the terrible mystery and bringing to justice those who were 
believed to have been responsible for his disappearance. 

At the special request of those interested, Pinkerton's De- 
tective Agency- was employed on the case by those interested, 
and instructed to spare neither money nor pains in their work. 
They published descriptions in the papers, searched Chicago from 
one end to the other, and even went so far as to have the Chicago 
river dragged for the body. They set their men in every direction 
to work, but failed utterly to find any trace of the missing man, 
or to offer any theory which would explain his disappearance. 
Schuttler's friends were quite despairing. 

But there was still reason for hope, if they had only known, 
which will appear in the next chajtter. 



One day several weeks after the man's disappearance, and 
when the Pinkertons had almost ceased their search the Johnson 
county people received a telegram from the Rocky Mountain De- 
tective Association, asking them for a complete description of 
Schuttler, and asking what should be done in case there was reas- 
onable hope of finding Schuttler. A reply was sent, requesting 
that every effort be made, and saying that a reward of |500 would 
be paid for the discovery of the man and his return to Iowa. 

Joe Arnold had read the description of Schuttler in the Chi- 
cago papers. Mr. O. A. Whittemore was then a justice of the 
peace in Denver. One day Mr. Arnold was in Justice Whitte- 
more's office attending to some business when he noticed a rather 
peculiar looking couple come in and ask to be married. The man 
gave the name of Christian Schottler and the woman that of 
Mary Spohr. The detective scanned the pair carefully, and at last 
came to the conclusion that he had somewhere read a description 
of the man and that he was "wanted." After thinking over the 
matter in his own mind he concluded that Christian Schottler, 
who was getting married to Mary Spohr, was no other than 
Christian J. Schuttler, late of Johnson county, Iowa, who was 
supposed to have been murdered for his money and who was be- 
ing mourned by his wife and twelve children as dead. That he 
had made many changes in his appearance was quite evident. 
His long hair and beard had been cut, and the Quaker-like garb 
had given i)lace to a far more fly costume. But the features of 
the man were those which had been described in the Chicago 


paper, and the name given here was very similar to that -v^hich 
the Iowa man had borne. Mr. Arnold was quite convinced that 
Schuttler, instead of being the truly good creature which had 
been described, was a wolf in sheep's clothing, who had stolen 
the 110,000 in money and deserted his family and foresworn his 
creed for the purpose of living with the woman whom he had seen 
become his wife. 

Mr. Arnold was careful, of course, to avoid divulging his 
suspicions to these people or to create any uneasiness in their 

He went to Gen. Cook and told him what he had witnessed 
and imparted his surmise to the chief. Cook then went with him 
to see the man and to pass his opinion upon him. He coincided 
with Arnold in his view of the case, and it was after this confer- 
ence that the telegram referred to above was sent to Iowa. 

In accordance with the instructions from Iowa, the detectives 
decided to keep a close watch upon the movements of the pair. 
This work was entrusted almost entirel}' to Mr. Arnold. He sel- 
dom allowed the man and woman to get out of his sight, though 
he was careful to remain unknown to them. He discovered that 
they spent the greater portion of their time in the retired por- 
tions of the city, and found that they had entered into negotia- 
tions some few days after their arrival here for a saloon on Wazee 
street, where it was supposed they believed they could go into 
business and earn a livelihood, as well as enjoy their illicit love, 
without being detected. They resided during the time in a little 
grout cottage on Fifteenth street, near Welton, considered then a 
long way out of town. 

One day, much to his satisfaction, Mr. Arnold traced Schot- 
tler to a photograph gallery, and found that he had had some 
pictures of himself made. What motive he could have had for 
this step is not known, but it is presumed that he desired to pre- 
serve a record of his early appearance in his new garb, w.hich, 
though that of ordinary life with other men, was strange to him. 
Whatever the freak that led him to seek the photographer, it 
proved quite a serious matter for him, and helped, if it did no 
more, to hasten the arrest. Of course Arnold procured one of 
these pictures. He sent it post haste to the home of Schuttler, 


where, although the clerical look was removed, it was recognized 
as being the photograph of Schuttler. The detectives were then 
requested to see that Schuttler did not make his escape and to 
arrest him in case he should attempt to leave town. The tele- 
gram was from Mr. Conden, the cashier of the bank which had 
lent Schuttler |4,()00, and he announced his determination to 
come out and see the man. 

In the meantime Arnold had found that the man and woman 
told different stories about themselves, as to where they were 
from, one of them stating that they had just arrived from Illinois 
and the other that they came from Wisconsin. They appeared 
to be nervous and watchful, and every movement strengthened 
the suspicion entertained of them by the detectives. The woman 
at last disappeared, and it was learned that she had gone to Chi- 
cago, taking a considerable sum of money with her. 

When Conden arrived the man was alone. He was taken to 
a place where he could obtain a good look at him without being 
himself seen by Schuttler. He at once pronounced Schottler 
to be no other than Schuttler, and requested that he be arrested 

The arrest followed soon afterwards, and was made by Gen. 
Cook. When Schuttler was apprehended he denied that he had 
been guilty of any crime, and told the officer that he must be mis- 
taken. He made no objection other than to declare his innocence 
and to swear that his name was Scholtz instead of Schuttler. 
In repl}' to these remarks Cook onl}' told him that if he would go 
With him to his office the matter could very soon be settled; that 
there was a man there who would probably recognize him. and 
that if he did not there would be no harm done, and he could go. 
To this proposition Schuttler assented, and went with Cook. 
Conden was awaiting the arrival of the two men at the officer's 
rooms, and when Schuttler arrived there was a mutual recogni- 

"My God!" exclaimed Schuttler. 

With this he thrust his hand into his pocket and brought out 
an ordinary pocket knife with which he made an effort to cut his 
throat, and in this he doubtless would have succeeded had he not 
been interfered with by Cook and Arnold. He then acknowledged 


everything, and said it was useless to make anv attempt to con- 
ceal his crime. He would, he said, willingly go back home and 
make any reparation for his offense that was in his power. He 
now talked profusely, and claimed that then for the hrst time, 
though he had been "missing" for nearly two months, he had real- 
ized the wrong which he had done. He protested that he had 
been drugged and stupefied in Chicago and led astray by the wo- 
man to whom he had been married here. 

It may be remarked in passing that it was afterwards learned 
that the woman had been a member of the doni monde and that 
Schuttler had been acquainted with her for several years before 
his little escapade. It seems, further, that he had deliberately 
planned an elopement with her before leaving home, and that he 
had as deliberately borrowed money and procured the sale of the 
cattle with the intention of defrauding the community which had 
trusted him with such implicity. The woman had played her part 
merely for the purpose of getting money from the fellow, and 
had succeeded to such an extent that when he was captured onlv 
|4,000 of the original |10,000 was found upon his person. She 
had gone away, doubtless, to never return. Be that as it may, 
she has never since been heard from in Colorado. She had un- 
doubtedly played Schuttler for an old fool; and going on the prin- 
ciple that an old fool is the worst fool of all, had undertaken 
to beat him badly, and had succeeded admirably — tearing the 
man, as such women are most capable of doing, from his exalted 
position in his community and from his familj', and causing him 
ever afterwards to be looked upon as a thief, a bigamist, and, 
worse than all, a silly dupe. 

To return to the story. Arnold assisted in taking Schuttler 
back to Iowa, where he was taken in hand by tlie aiithorities. 
The people of Schuttler's faith, who are generally very honest, 
were greatly chagrined at his disgrace, and through their inter- 
cession he was saved from a term in the penitentiary. They 
agreed to settle all his debts, and a compromise was effected upon 
this basis. Tbe man's wife was the only person who })rofessed to 
believe his story of the manner in which he had been led astray. 
There was a reconciliation in the family, with whom Schuttler 


soon afterwards removed to Nebraska, where he is probably still 

The reward offered was paid promptly to Arnold, and he 
received much praise for the splendid manner in which he had 
conducted the case, and especially for the shrewdness he had dis- 
played in the beginning. It is safe to say that among the people 
of Johnson county, Iowa, the Rocky Mountain Detective Associa- 
tion will forever be considered as superior to Mr. Pinkerton's 
agency. There are many other localities which feel the same way 
on the subject. 




Dry creek is the name of a small and unimportant tributary 
of Cherry creek, which, like a great many other streams in this 
vicinity, contains but little water, except during the spring and 
summer months. It is, however, skirted in places by growths of 
underbrush and cottonwoods and willows. It heads in Douglas 
county, near the Divide, and runs for twenty miles in a northeast- 
erly direction, until it joins Cherry creek some fifteen miles above 
Denver. The region is one for the possession of which ten years 
ago no one but a few sheep-herders disputed with the prairie dog 
and plains rattlesnake. Lonely and barren as was the country, it 
has had its tragedies, and Dry creek tells one of the most thrill- 
ing tales of cold-blooded murder which is recorded in this calen- 

Some few years previous to 1871, a «juiet and reticent man 
came to the place and bought a small herd of sheep. He gave the 
name of S. K. Wall. Occasionally, when business called, he rode 
into Denver; but he never remained for any length of time. 
Unlike many men of his calling, and those of the kindred vocation 
of cattle-grazing, he never staid over to have "a good time with 
the boys." He did not buy whiskey with his money, but after 
paying for his necessities, he would visit the book stores and lay 
in a supply of reading matter. This he would carry with him to 
his home up the creek. There he lived, in an unpretentious dug- 


out tent, the life of a hermit, doing his own cooking and tending 
his own sheep. He had built his hut in a willow copse, near the 
bed of the creek; and, owing perhaps as much to his retiring man- 
ners as to his frugal mode of life, the supposition prevailed in the 
neighborhood that he had a great deal of money stored away in 
the place of his abode. His herd had also increased rapidly in 
numbers and now counted four hundred head of as well-kept sheep 
as were to be found in the neighborhood. The prize was one 
likely to excite the envy of those disposed to avariciousness. 

Among Mr. Wall's neighbors in those days were Mr. J. S. 
McCool, who now resides on the Platte a few miles below Den- 
ver, and Mr. LeFevre. Employed by Mr. LeFevre was a young 
man named George H. Wetherill, while Mr. McCool gave work 
to one E. E, Wight, commonly then known in the neighborhood 
as Jack Wight. These two emploj'^s became the murderers of 
Wall, whose sheep and supposed hidden treasure of gold they 
longed to possess. 

Witherill was the younger of the two men, being at that 
time twenty-three years of age, while Wight was about twenty- 
seven. Both were doubtless bad enough, but to Wight seems 
to belong the credit of planning the deviltry. He also appears 
to have found in Witherill not only a willing accomplice but a 
pliant tool. Wight had come into Colorado the year before 
from Iowa, and Witherill had recently arrived from the north- 
west. He was a native of New York, and had gradually drifted 
westward until he reached Utah and Dakota. For a while he 
was engaged as a stage driver from Corrinne, Utah, on the 
Fort Benton route. Afterwards he drifted back to Laramie 
<^ity, Wyo., and from Laramie came to Denver. The education 
which he had received as a stage driver in the then almost 
savage region in which he operated was not calculated to make 
a refined creature of him. 

Witherill and Wight soon became acquainted and were not 
long in deciding to appropriate Wall's property which had 
aroused their cupidity. From the time they first discovered 
themselves to be of common mind upon this point, they talked 
over the project continually when they met. Both of them 
were herders, but for different men, and they frequently con- 


ti'ived to bring their herds together for the purpose of discuss- 
ing this subject between themselves. They also managed to 
get days off, when they would stroll about and discuss the mat- 
ter. They also met at night and debated the fine points, going 
so far at times as to walk ovc^r to Wall's place and survey the 
premises. The horrible nature of the crime of murder seems 
to have never entered their minds. The only point which pre- 
sented itself was the feasibility of their scheme. They were 
not anxious to kill, but they wanted Wall's property, and after 
discussing various other plans for getting Wall out of the 
way, decided, as dead men tell no tales, to murder him in cold 
blood and take the sheep and whatever valuables might be 

These plans had begun to take root as early as the middle 
of the summer, but they did not mature until September. The 
I7th day of that month in the year 1871 fell on Sunday — as 
bright and quiet a day as Colorado was ever blessed with. The 
two men had taken the day off for the purpose of putting their 
long-cherished project into execution, agreeing upon a place of 
meeting and a plan of proceeding. They came together about 
3 o'clock in the afternoon, and about 3 came upon Wall lying 
(]uietly upon a peaceful hillside in the shade of a bluff, watch- 
ing the lazy sheep as the^' gna^^^ed their Sunday meals out of 
the tufted grass on the sloping plains below — certainly a pic- 
ture of peace and quiet. There was nothing there to suggest mur- 
der, but on the contrary all was suggestive of brotherly love. 
The scene was one to call out the warmth and fellow feeling 
in human nature. 

But the two scoundrels had gone to the place on murder 
bent, and they did not propose to be deterred from their pur- 
pose by a Sunday scene or a sparkle of bright sunshine. They 
went up to ^\'all, who did not suspect but that they meant to 
l)ay him a friendly call, with smiles on their faces, and began 
a friendly conversation. Even while they talked they were 
preparing for the murder which they had come to commit, and 
when the doomed man turned his head, one of the ruffians — 
which one will probably never be definitely known — pulled his 


gun, and, leveling at the poor man's back, fired, the ball strik- 
ing him in the neck. 

Comprehending for the first time the real intention of the 
men, Wall instinct! velj- took to his heels to save his life, and 
started towards his dugout tent; He flew down the hill as if 
carried on the air, the two men pursuing almost as fast. It 
was a race for life — a curious interruption of the mild Sunday 
Rcene which spread out before them under the bright light of 
the autumn skies. Even as Wall ran, the blood spurted in 
torrents from the ugl}^ wound in his neck, marking the path he 
trod so plainly that he might have been tracked by means of 
it, had not the pursuers been so close as to need no guide to 
the course the man had taken. One of them had come on 
horseback to the place, and he left his animal standing while 
he should pursue his murderous task. They followed closely 
in the footsteps of Wall, whose path led over a rugged hillside, 
down a steep bluff, and into the bed of Dry creek below. He 
ran so rapidly at first that the shots which his bloody handed 
pursuers sent after him were of no avail in bringing him to a 
halt. It is not believed that either one of the bloody bullets 
except the first hit the mark, and it began to look as if the poor 
man would make good his escape. He was evidently bent upon 
getting to his cabin, where once arrived he had fire arms stored 
with w^hich he would be amply able to protect himself even 
against double odds. The murderers apprehended his inten- 
tions, and bent every energy to cut off the retreat. Finding 
that the leaden missiles failed to accomplish their purpose, they 
quit shooting and doubled their pace. ' 

As they increased their speed, Wall evidently slackened 
his. The run was a long one, and he was losing a great deal 
of blood. He had, however, reached the bed of the gulch, and 
was nearing his home, when his foot struck a boulder, and he 
fell prone on the creek bottom, the murderers sweeping up be- 
hind him like bloodhounds in pursuit of a fugitive slave. 

''Good!" exclaimed one of them, as they saw their prey fall 
so nearly within their grasp. 

"I guess the d d scoundrel's done for," replied the other. 


as the}' slackened their pace to draw a long breath and be pre 
pared for a final struggle. 

But a moment more served to change this last-expressed 
opinion. Wall was greatly weakened by the loss of blood and 
the fatigue of the race, but he managed to scramble to his feet 
once more, and to stagger onward in a zigzag run up the creek 
bottom. The assassins had come up to within twenty steps of 
him. and could easily be heard. 

■'!*!top there, d n you, or we will fill you full of lead." 

one of them shouted to him. ''No more of this foolishness: vou 
may as well surrender on the spot," 

Realizing that further flight was hopeless; that his strength 
was gone and that he was unarmed, and feeling perhaps that 
he might save his life. Wall halted, and Witherill and Wight 
came up. 

As they approached Wall he turned towards them and de- 
manded an explanation of their strange conduct. 

"What does it mean?" he demanded to know. 

"Mean? It means that you are having too good a time of 

it — that you are making too much mouey for a d d old 

snoozer who knows no better how to use it and enjoy it than 
you do. We want it. We want your sheep, your money, every 
thing you've got, d n you!" 

The poor fellow was rapidly sinking under the loss of blood. 
He replied faintly: "Take everything, but spare my life. I 
don't want to die. I have done nothing to deserve death. I 
will give you everything freely. All I ask is that I be per- 
mitted to live." 

Witherill and Wight were now standing very close to him, 
and one of them had raised the breech of a heavy rifle over Wall's 
head. "Spare your life! What sort of a game are you giving 
us? Spare nothing! A fine idea to let you live and as soon as 

your d d old head is cured up to go blabbing it to Dave 

Cook and every other officer and detective in the state. What 
d'you take us for? A charitable society? Guess, old man, you're 
a little off, ain't you? It's dead men that tell no tales to de- 
tectives, old fellow; we puts our trust in no others." 

In vain did the poor quivering man plead for his life. In 


vain were liis promises of secrecy. Even while bending upon 
his knees and while he lifted his quivering hand to swear that 
he would deliver every article of his possession to his murderers 
if they would only permit liim to live, even while thus implor- 
ing, the heavy rifle held above his head came crashing down, 
another shot being fired at the same time. A thundering, deaf- 
ening noise, a lightning pain followed by the darkness of death, 
and all was over. Wall fell to the ground with his skull broken 
in and expired a moment afterwards. 

The body was buried beneath a pile of rocks where it had 
fallen and the murderers prepared to take possession of the 
property which the.y had secured by their Sunday's W'Ork. 

They, had hoped to procure money through the murder of 
Wall, as well as to get possession of his sheep. They shared 
the popular opinion that he had many dollars in gold and silver 
and greenbacks laid away in his hut. Hence they first searched 
the dead man's person, taking his watch and pocket book, the 
latter containing some small change and a certificate of de- 
posit in the bank then kept in Denver by Mr. Warren Hussey, 
and after securing these articles of value, though of treacherous 
and tell-tale character, they hid the still warm body of this 
victim away and proceeded to search Wall's dugout. Here, 
contrary to expectations, they found nothing of value to them, 
and went out in some disgust to take possession of the sheep, 
which had been so suddenly left by their master, and which 
were still grazing on the quiet hillside almost in sight of the 
spot which had seen the culmination of the tragedy which had 
begun in their midst. 

A day or two afterwards people living in the neighborhood 
discovered Witherill in charge of Wall's sheep and also that 
Wall himself had disappeared. In reply to inquiries Witherill 
stated that he had bought the sheep from Wall, and exhibited 
a bill of sale for them, saying at the same time that Wall had 
left Colorado. There was some little suspicion aroused at first, 
because Witherill had never been known to have any sufficient 
amount of money to procure so large a herd as Wall's. It soon, 
also, became known that Witherill was wearing a watch which 


Wall had owned and which he had told some one that he would 
not part with for three times its value. 

After this Witherill was regarded with suspicion hj his 
neighbors, and some of them came to Denver and laid the mat- 
ter before Gen. Cook, who was at that time sheriff of Arapahoe 
county as well as chief of the Rocky Mountain Detective Asso- 
ciation. As the crime, if one had been committed, was outside 
of his jurisdiction as sheriff, having been committed in another 
county. Gen. Cook referred the complaints to the sheriff of 
Douglas county. He, however, determined to keep his eyes 
open for developments and to lend w'hatever aid he could to the 
apprehension of the criminal or criminals, if indeed the foul 
play suspected had been committed. 



Gen. Cook did not have to wait long. It is a true saying 
that murder will out. It can not hide its bloody footprints, 
especially when there are shrewd detectives on the track. Re- 
ports of Witherill's suspicious movements came in frequently. 
An important item to the detective was the fact which he 
learned that Witherill had come to the city soon after he took 
possession of the sheep with the certificate of deposit at Hussey's 
bank and presented it to be cashed. This was an important 
link, and it was greatly strengthened by the fact that the clerk 
at the bank had de(,'lared that the indorsement of Wall's name 
on the certificate was not in Wall's handwriting, and had re- 
turned the paper to Witherill, who had said that Wall had 
gone to Laramie Cit}^ Wyo., and that the would send him the 
certificate and get a reindorsement. Cook was now well on 
the qui vive. In about two weeks, the time necessary to send 
the paper to Laramie and get it returned, Witherill had re- 
turned to the bank with the certificate, the first indorsement 
erased and the name written in a different hand. But the clerk 
failed to recognize the signature as Wall's, and acting under 
Cook's instructions, retained the certificate. 

Up to this time Witherill does not seem to have dreamed 
that any one suspected him of any crime, and as for Wight, no 
one did suspect him. They had been disappointed in getting 
so little money from Wall, and determined, while they had their 
1 lands in, to add to their wealth by getting more sheep together. 


Henoe they made anotlier raid, and this affair seems to have 
been the hair that broke the camel's back; which at hist so 
thoroughly confirmed former suspicions that a thorough search 
was decided upon. ]\[r. J. K. Doolittle, who is well known in 
Denver, and who is now a prosperous merchant in Pueblo, had 
a large lierd of sheep, which he kept up the creek some miles from 
Witherill's herd. One day it was discovered that about six hun- 
dred of his herd had disappeared, and investigation developed the 
fact that they had been merged into Witherill's flock. George 
Hopkins, Es(\., at that time city marshal of Denver, went out 
to attend to the restoration of the sheep to their owner, and 
to arrest Witherill on the charge of stealing the sheej). He had 
no difficulty in identifying the sheep, but he found Witherill 
prepared with the papers to demonstrate his own "innocence.' 
He showed a bill of sale from Wall for them, as well as the 
other sheep. But he was brought into Denver to straighten 
matters up. He agreed to restore all of Doolittle's stock, and 
to pay whatever expenses Mr. Doolittle had incurred in pro- 
curing his property. 

While Witherill was in Denver, however, he was seen by 
John L. Hayman, whose name appeared on the bill of sale trans- 
ferring the sheep from Wall to Witherill, who recognized him as 
the man who had signed Wall's name, and who had claimed to be 
Wall. Here was a clear case of forgery. 

Witherill on this occasion got out of the town before Chief 
Cook had learned of these developments; but when he obtained 
the information he decided that Witherill sliould again be ar- 
rested and a thorough investigation made to ascertain whether 
Wall had not been murdered. Witherill had certainly proved 
himself a thief and a forger, and there Avere many circumstances 
which went to show that he had also been guilty of taking the life 
of a fellow being. 

While Cook was making his preparations for the caj^ture of 
Witherill, Wight first began to figure before the public as an 
•■accomplice of Witherill's in his crime. Knowing that he had so 
far not been suspected, as he had constantly pushed Witherill 
forward and himself remained in the background, he came to 
Denver the next dav after Witherill had left, on Tuesdav. a little 


more than three weeks after the murder, and had the temerity to 
go to the officers and advise them to arrest Witherill, saying that 
he believed him to be guilty of ^Yal^s murder. He thus partially 
gained the confidence of the detectives, and learned enough to 
convince him that the apprehension of Witherill was decided 
upon. Knowing that when Witherill was once taken he would 
reveal the part that Wight had taken in the tragedy, he returned 
to Dry creek that afternoon and warned Witherill of their dan- 
ger, and they prepared for flight that night. 

Detectives Smith and Benton had been selected by Chief 
Cook to go out and arrest Witherill. They left Denver on Wednes- 
day morning, October 12, in search of their man. When they 
reached the point at which they supposed thej would find With- 
erill, they found only a report that he was not to be found. The 
officers were not long in discovering that not only Witherill, but 
that Wight also had fled, and that they had carried off several 
valuable horses belonging to persons residing in the vicinity. 

Finding both Witherill and Wight gone, the officers deter- 
mined to devote a little time to ascertaining, if possible, the ex- 
tent of the crime committed by the fugitives, and, acting under 
their chief's instructions to search for confirmation of his sus- 
picion of the murder of W^all, they began their investigations. 
Ooing up Dry creek towards the missing man's cabin, they were 
not long in making the dread discovery which proved a complete 
confirmation of the worst theories. As they walked along the 
dry bed of the creek, their attention was attracted to a bunch of 
wolves standing around a pile of stones on the hillside, not far 
from the gulch. They seemed to be pawing at the stubborn rocks 
and sniffing the air as if in search of something to eat, evidently 
satisfied that the object of their search was not far away. 

The men determined to investigate that sjiot. The animals 
were frightened away by a pistol shot fired into their midst, and 
the officers walked up to the place which they had just quitted. 

Lying on the bare stones and protruding from an opening 
was the fleshless arm of a human being, showing traces of the 
teeth of the wolves, shreds of clothing being scattered about the 
place. The stones being speedily removed, the rapidly decaying 
body of the murdered man was brought to light. It was covered 


with bruises and blood, but was still recognizable. Here was the 
horrible suspicion confirmed. There was no longer any doubt 
that Wall had been murdered by Witherill, and the flight of 
Wight made his complicity more than probable. 

The body being properly disposed of, the officers set them- 
selves to work to find whatever clue they could to the course the 
murderers had taken in their flight. It was ascertained that 
Witherill had some friends at Colorado City, in El Paso county, 
the old state capital, and it was believed that the two men would 
go in that direction. The officers sent information to this effect 
to Chief Cook, and started in that direction in search of the men. 

But Chief Cook had learned more of the movements of the 
fugitives, even while remaining at home, than his officers who 
were on the ground knew. He had ascertained, in that mysterious 
way which has ever made his name a terror to evil-doers, that the 
men had turned their faces towards the rising sun and were mak- 
ing their way across the plains towards *'the states." Even while 
his officers were still out, he had laid plans to entrap the murder- 
ers and to secure their arrest by sending dispatches to all points 
on the plains where there was any chance of their stopping. 
Among other places to which he sent these descriptions was Sid- 
ney, Neb., and he had the satisfaction a very few days after- 
wards of receiving from Deputy Sheriff H. H. Tigart, of that 
place, a telegram, saying. "We've got your man Witherill. What 
shall we do with him? Wight gone on to North Platte.*' In re- 
ply. Cook instructed the officer to hold Witherill, and he and 
Smith, who had returned by this time, were off on the next mon- 
ing's train for Sidney. This was on the Friday succeeding the 
flight of the two. Saturday night carried them to Sidney, where 
they learned the facts of the capture. 

If all the facts in the flight of these two hardened men from 
the pursuit of justice could be known they would make as thrill- 
ing a story as ever had its foundation on our barren prairies. 
Compelled to steal horses, guns and provisions, with three 
hundred miles of what was then a desert lying before them, no 
friendly shelter offering, with the probability of encountering 
savage tribes of Indians at any time; with the knowledge that 
when they should seek shelter in the habitable part of the world 


towards wbicli they were making their way. they would do so 
at the risk of their lives — with these thoughts confronting them 
as to the hardships before them and the ofiicers following their 
trail from behind, they were certainly between two fires. Let us 
lu)i)e, too, for the sake of humanity that there still lingered in 
their minds some degree of remorse for the foul deed they had 
committed— that occasionally, when left to themselves on the 
boundless plains, with naught between them and the heavens, 
there occasionally flitted through their minds some degree of bit- 
terness of feeling, some (juestioning of conscience as to the bloody 
and unprovoked deed they had committed. 

Their flight seems to have been an alternation of mad rides 
and of skulking hides. We find them, according to their own 
accounts, putting in the day lying quiet or seeking their way over 
the roadless plains'Avhere they were certain to encounter no one. 
and during the night riding madly forward towards the eastern 
horizon, where was the only ray of hope, small as it was, that 
shone for them. 

The fifth day out they ran into a large herd of buffalo, while 
riding over the prairie. They decided to relieve the tedium that 
suri'ounded their almost blank existence by having a little sport 
with the bison and at the same time capture some fresh meat. 
Tlie^' shot into the herd, taking aim at a particularly large old 
bull, and wounding him so badly that w'hen the others of his herd 
ran off he was unable to keep pace with them and was left be- 
hind. Wight and Witherill put spurs to their horses, rushing 
across the open plain with the speed of the wind and firing at the 
wounded and faltering animal as they went, very much, indeed, 
as they had pursued poor Wall when they sought to take his life 
as they now sought to take that of the crippled bison who ran 
before them. He at first seemed destined to evade them, as their 
human victim had done, but, like Wall, had at last faltered and 
so slowed up as to permit himself to be overtaken. 

In their impetuosity, they had rushed upon the animal until 
they could almost touch him with the muzzles of their fire arms. 
^^'ight had reigned his horse up by the side of the animal, which 
had come to bay, and was preparing to shoot, when Witherill 
came up behind and landed a bullet from his weapon in the back 


of tlie bull. The animal roared with pain, and snorting and shoot- 
ing fire out of his eyes, made a desperate plunge at the horse and 
rider by his side. Wight pulled up his horse hastily, but not 
soon enough to avoid the blow. The bison's horn struck him on 
the shin and. short and dull-pointed as it was, cut its way to 
the bone, ripping open the flesh of the calf of the leg all the way to 
the knee, and tearing the sinews out, making a very ugly and 
painful wound. The blood spurted out so as to almost blind the 
brute, which did not, however, cease its attack. Wight managed 
to spur up his horse, the animal having been protected from the 
bull's horn by its rider's leg, and he and his ''brave" partner, al- 
though they had had courage enough to shoot down a defenseless 
man, found themselves unable to stand before this specimen of 
brutal anger and rode oft" as rapidly as they could, leaving the 
field to the wounded buffalo. 

The entire herd had stopped on a distant hill, and many of 
them stood looking back as if they enjoyed the spectacle of the 
fight, which must have been at least equal to the scene of a Span- 
ish bull fight. But the men were too much put out to further 
enjoy the sport, and, binding up Wight's leg as best they could, 
they found their way as speedily as possible to a ranchman's 
home on the Platte. They represented themselves as hunters, 
and asked to be allowed to remain until Wighl; should recover 
from his wound. Here they remained for two days, but gangrene 
setting in in the wound, they decided to take the chances and 
seek a point at which medicines and medical aid could be pro 
cured. Hence they set off for the settlements along the Union 
Pacific railroad, coming first to Julesburg, where Witherill 
stopped with the horses, and where he put Wight on a train and 
sent him to North Platte, still further down the road, it being 
Witherill's intention the next morning to follow with the prop- 

But Chief Cook's messages had gotten in ahead of the men. 
and Deputy Tigart, of Sidney, Neb., having received a descrip- 
tion of Witherill, proceeded on the very evening after his arrival 
to Julesburg, a few miles distant from his home in Sidney, to 
arrest the fugitive. The officers waited for night to come on, 
and went after him when he was supposed to be asleep. They 


found him in a barn, with his arms lying about him. He was at 
first disposed to resist capture, but discovering that he was well 
surrounded, he surrendered. The prisoner at first denied that his 
name was Witherill, and said that he was one William Jackson, 
but ultimately confessed, and then told of the whereabouts of 
Wight, who, he declared, was as much to blame as was he 

Gen. Cook and Mr. Smith, when they arrived at Sidney, found 
Witherill safe in hand, and as he had been captured in Colorado 
territory there was no trouble about him. Wight was known to 
be in North Platte, Neb., and it was feared that he could not 
be gotten away without a requisition; hence Gen. Cook placed a 
hundred dollar bill in Tigart's hands and told him to go after 
Wight. That officer boarded the next west-bound train, and the 
following morning brought him into Sidney with the wounded 
man, who had been taken without much trouble. 



Up to this time Wight's connection with the affair had been, 
only a matter of surmise, but Witherill talked freely. According 
to Witherill's story told at this time, Wight had been the guilty 
party, and Witherill himself had been as pure and guiltless as if 
he had never seen Wall. He said on the day of the murder he 
'eft Melvin's, where he had been at work, saddled his horse, and 
?vent over to Wall's camp. Wall had a small tent or cabin built 
down in the gulch and concealed from view by willows grown- 
Lhick on each side of it. When he got up to the tent door he- 
found Wall and Wight quarreling. Wall accused Wight of hav- 
ing taken his pocketbook that day, while he was away from, 
home. After further hot words, Wight came out, and taking hold 
of Witherill's Henry rifle, asked him if it was loaded. Witherill 
told him it had a shell in the barrel, at the same time getting 
off his horse and hitching. Wight sprung the lever, threw the 
shell out, and loaded the gun. Wall came out and sat down on 
a rock close to the tent door. Wight set down Witherill's gun 
and picked up Wall's, and quickly raising it fired at Wall, the 
ball taking effect in the neck. The wounded man dropped, and 
presently raising again, said: ''Wight, you've shot me." Wight 
then dropped the gun, and taking up Witherill's rifle, shot Wall' 
again and again in the head and body until he was dead. AIJ 
this while Witherill stood dumbfounded. He didn't know what 
to do. He went to untie his horse to leave, when Wight pre 
sented the gun at him and told him not to leave or he would 
put a hole through him. AYight then went into Wall's pockets. 


took out his watch and handed it to Witherill, also a draft. 
The latter he isn't certain whether he took from Wall's or his 
own pocket. Witherill did not see Wall's pocketbook at all. 
After this the two men arranged to sell the sheep and divide the 
spoils. Wight also proceeded to write out a bill of sale of the 
sheep, from Wall to Witherill. Before they left, Witherill gave 
Wight $25 in money, and the latter said he would dispose of the 
body and clean up the traces around. All this time Wight was as 
cool and possessed as if it was an everyday job with him. With- 
erill then rode away and never saw the body again. 

Wight refused to talk, simply saying that if there had been 
any murder committed, Witherill was the guilty man. 

The two men were securely ironed and brought to Denver, 
where they were placed in jail. Two months afterwards they 
were tried at Evans before Judge E. T. Wells, having obtained 
a change of venue from Frankstown, then the county seat of 
Douglas county. Owing to technical defects in the law, both 
escaped the death at the gallows which they so much deserved. 
Indeed, as Wight's complicity was not established by any evi- 
dence except the testimony of Witherill, he was allowed to go on 
a bond of |2,000, on the charge of horse stealing, notwithstand- 
ing all were satisfied that he had been as guilty of murder as 
Witherill, if indeed he had not been the instigator of the whole 
plot, but he had been shrewd enough to make a tool of his chum 
and to remain in the background himself. Witherill was sen- 
tenced to a life term in the penitentiary. After the trial he 
made a full confession to Gen. Cook, which, while it is at fault 
in some details, is doubtless correct in the main, and so interest- 
ing throughout that it is here given in detail, as follows: 

"Some time during the week previous to the murder, 17th of 
September last, E. E. Wight came over to where I was, and inti- 
mated this murder, and it was arranged between us that I should 
come over to his house on Sunday, the 17th of September. I 
went. He was to watch for me and meet me somewhere on the 
road — if he could see me — near the sheep herder's grounds. I 
met him near the sheep herder's tent. The sheep herder wasn't 
at his tent; he was with his sheep back on the bluffs. We went 


out there and found him. Wight was on foot and I was on 
horseback. We found him soon after we got on the bluff or table 
land. I then gave my gun to Wight to shoot him. When we 
came up we passed the time of day and held a short conversation 
about various things — nothing pertaining to this. As the sheep 
herder turned to go away, Wight spoke to him, and Wall turned 
his head toward us and then Wight fired at him. The man Wall 
fell instantly; then he got up and ran down into the gulch; Wight 
followed him and fired at him several times; I judge that he hit 
him, though I couldn't say. He stumbled and fell several times 
while going down the hill. He had on his hat as he was running 
down hill towards the gulch ; the next time I saw him he didn't 
have on his hat. I didn't see the hat any more until I saw it in 
court at Evans. I followed after Wight — or near to him — down 
the hill. Wight and I followed along on the bank of the gulch; 
Wight fired at him whenever opportunity offered. We couldn't 
see him all the time, as Wall was running in the bed of the 
gulch. Wall soon got faint and sat down, from loss of blood; 
when I saw him sit down I got off my horse and hitched him; 
Wight and I then went down into the bed of the gulch where 
Wall was sitting. Wall said as we approached, 'What have 1 
done?' We made no reply. Wight then struck him with the 
barrel of the gun on the left side of the head, I should judge, 
perhaps, above the ear. One side of his face and his bosom were 
covered with blood. He fell, and I think the blow from the gun 
killed him; he died within two or three minutes after being 
struck. We examined his pockets and took out his pocketbook 
and watch. The pocketbook contained about twelve dollars in 
money and a certificate of deposit for three hundred dollars at 
Warren Hussey's bank, in Denver. 

"Then we left the body lay where it had fallen and covered 
it up with rocks first and dirt afterward. We then returned to 
the sheep herder's tent, and as we went we arranged between us 
that I should take his sheep and herd them; I was to sell them 
as soon as possible, and divide the money between us. In order 
to get a bill of sale for them, he agreed to meet me in Denver 
the next day and have the bill of sale made out for me. While 
at the tent we hid his diary, with such papers as it contained, 


and also his gun, near the tent. We separated there, then, and I 
returned to Melvin's and he started towards McCool's ranch. I 
think we reached the tent, previous to the murder, about 3 o'clock 
p. m., and we finally separated a little after 4 o'clock, I should 
sa3^, though we had no time, as the watch taken from Wall's 
pocket had run down. The next morning I came to Denver; I 
looked around for Wight, but couldn't find him. Then I went to 
•an office in Feuerstein's building, adjoining the land office, and 
asked the lawj^er to make me out a bill of sale. He made it out 
according to my directions. I signed Wall's name to it. I took 
the bill of sale and went directly home to Melvin's. I went the 
next day over to Wall's camp, and got the sheep together, and 
-assumed responsibility of their charge. A few days afterwards 
I came to Denver and advertised the sheep for sale in the Rocky 
Mountain Netvs. I started back home again that night. 1 stayed 
•at LeFevre's ranch that night. I met Wight there ; that was the 
first time I had seen him since we separated on the day of the 
murder. Wight and I had some conversations about my having 
advertised the sheep. A week or more elapsed, during which time 
I was herding the sheep and Wight was building a house for Le- 
Fevre. The next time we met was on Sunday, at the camp where 
I was stopping. 

"During this time Doolittle's sheep were roaming on Big Dry. 
On the Sunday when we met Wight spoke to me about Doolittle's 
sheep. I went early next morning and drove them to where our 
own were. I stayed with the sheep that day and kept them 
together. The next day I made an excuse to go down to LeFevre's 
camp. I told Wight that I had them together, and about how 
many I judged there were. I told him I thought there were 
about six hundred of Doolittle's. Wight wanted that I should 
go and get another bill of sale made out; I did not do it. He 
then took from me the other bill of sale, and between that and 
our next meeting he changed and altered it so as to cover six 
hundred and forty head, instead of three hundred and forty, as 
it was originally made out. I didn't like it; it was made out 
badly; it would be easily detected, and I spoke to him about it. 
We then arranged it between us that I should come to town and 
get two made out separate, one for three hundred and forty head, 


and another for four hundred. I went to Mr. Witter's office in 
Denver and had both bills made out. Before I started home again 
I heard that six hundred and fifty head of sheep were missing on 
Cherry creek. I left word with Loustellot, in Denver, that if any 
sheep were missing there were some stray ones at the head of 
Big Dry. I also told Mr. Powers that there were some stray 
sheep up where I was stopping. I went back home then to Mc- 
Cool's ranch. Two days afterwards Doolittle, having heard that 
there were stray sheep there, came out there from Denver. I 
claimed to him to have seven hundred and forty head of sheep. 
We corraled them and counted them. They numbered nine hun- 
dred and eighty-eight head, and he claimed all over the seven 
hundred and forty head. Because I told of there being stray 
sheep up there, Wight got mad. He some time afterward told 
me that he came to Denver and told Doolittle that all of his 
sheep were there. 

"The next dav after Doolittle had been so informed, Hopkins 
came out and arrested me, charged with stealing sheep. Hopkins 
brought me into town, and on the next day Hopkins, Doolittle 
and I went out to the Twelve-mile house, to where the sheep had 
been driven, and I delivered to him the sheep he claimed. I set- 
tled with Doolittle and was discharged. I explained to Doolittle 
that the sheep claimed by him I had bought from Wall, and that 
I had a bill of sale, and the officer discharged me because he 
thought I had not stolen the stock. I was discharged in Denver, 
aod went right back to McCool's rancho. When I got there 
Wight was there, and he told me of having had some conversa- 
tion with Sheriff Cook, and that Cook suspected that I had mur- 
dered Wall, and he was about to arrest me. Wight thought we 
had better leave the country. It was arranged that we were to 
leave as soon as possible. We went the next day to Mr. Melvin's, 
where I was to receive some cows I had traded sheep for. We 
didn't get the cows that day, and stayed there that night. Next 
morning we went back to McCool's rancho. The day after, Wight 
came to town with LeFevre's hired man, and brought his box of 
clothing with him. I came to Denver via Twelve-mile house, 
kaving sent my trunk to town. Wight and I took our box and 
trunk to the Denver Pacific depot and shipped them to Nebraska 


City. I shipped my trunk in the name of William Jackson; he 
shipped in the name of E, E. Fox. After shipping our goods 
Wight traded a shotgun which he had stolen from Bates, on the 
I'ancho, for a Winchester rifle, and we bought some ammunition 
and a field-glass. I saw Marshal Hopkins coming down the street 
towards me, and I started down the street away from him, tak- 
ing a roundabout route to Bailey's corral, where my horse was. 
I then rode over to Kood's gun-shop and got my gun, which had 
been left for repairs. I then went back to McCool's rancho. I 
had been there about an hour when Wight came. He brought a 
saddle with him, which he said he had stolen from William 
Wulff. We had intended to have left the country that night, but 
could not find the horses we intended to steal, and also expected 
Webster over to buy some cows which I had bargained to him. 
Next morning Mr. Webster came. I let him have eight cows to 
sell on commission. They were branded *W' back of the left 
shoulder. He advanced me |21 on the cows. The remainder he 
was to send me when I should furnish him my address and the 
cows had been sold to the best advantage, less his commission. 
He also cashed an order of his given me by Freeman. I also gave 
Webster an order for |72 and some cents, which he was to send 
when collected, with the money received for the cows. Webster 
informed me that I was accused of murder, and that I had better 
look out for myself, as Sheriff Cook had written to the sheriff of 
Douglas county that he had better arrest me. He described the 
sheriff of Douglas county to me before we parted. Wight and i 
then left and went down on Plum creek. We got back to Mc- 
Cool's rancho about dark. We got what things we wanted to 
take with us, and McCool's mare. Wight took a horse from 
William Underwood, and I told him he ought to be ashamed to 
steal from a one-armed man. He then turned the horse loose, 
and we started for Denver, passing through about midnight, on 
our way to Johnson's island [Henderson's island], where we ex- 
pected to get two more horses from McCool. We stopped about 
six miles from town and rested our horses. At about daylight we 
again started, arriving at Johnson's island about 9 o'clock a. m., 
where we took breakfast. We stayed there in the brush until- 
about the middle of the afternoon, then left our horses and 


started back on foot towards McCooFs rancho. When we got 
there we could not find the horses we were in search of. Wight 
thought we were seen, and about dark we started back, and I 
stole the black mare. We then started down the Platte and ar- 
rived at Evans soon after daylight. We left there, traveling 
down the Platte, and traded off McCool's mare at a rancho six 
miles below old Fort ^lorgan. A few days after, Wight got hurt 
while chasing a buffalo. We then had to lay over three days at 
Moore's rancho. We left there and went to Julesburg. I bought 
Wight a ticket and gave him $5, and sent him to North Platte 
City, and I stayed in Julesburg that night, and was arrested and 
brought to Sidney the next day, where I was kept until Sheriffs 
Cook and Smith came for me." 

Wight remained in jail in Denver several months after his 
partner in crime had been sent to Caiion City, awaiting his trial. 
While in the Arapahoe jail he made a desperate effort to escape, 
taking a prominent part in the Oris wold emeute, the story of 
which affair will be found succeeding this chapter. His trial 
took place at Golden, the prisoner having obtained a change of 
venue, and resulted in a sentence of seven years at hard labor in 
the penitentiary. He is still at Caiion City. He might now be a 
free man, had not his propensity to escai)e from prison prolonged 
his term of incarceration. After remaining for two years in the 
state penitentiary he contrived to get away, and, evading all pur- 
suit, was not overtaken for four years, when he was spotted and 
captured away down in Maine. He was returned to Colorado 
and, as stated above, is now serving out the sentence which might 
have been completed ere this but for his desire to escape. 

Even to the present time his old tendency to intrigue has not 
failed to assert itself. Since his imprisonment began he has 
made numerous efforts to secure his release and that of Witherill 
as well. It has been but a short while since Gen. Cook received 
the following letter, which he is convinced was written by Wight: 

Penitentiary, Caiion City, 

December 21. 1881. 
Hon. David Cook, Denver, Colorado: 

Dear General — Mv attention was latelv attracted to an arti- 
cle in a Denver paper, wherein you expressed a knowledge of the 


fact that George Witherill, who is here serving a life sentence, 
used to drive a stage in Utah. Three years ago the writer became 
somewhat acquainted with a man in Kansas City, who related to 
him the following story, in which the said George Witherill plays 
a most prominent part, and every word of which I have good and 
sufficient reasons for believing as true. In the winter of the year 
1870 this man, by name Edward Neal, was stock tender for the 
stage company at Corrinne, Utah. One day a man came to the 
stable and took an extra team and a Concord wagon for the pur- 
pose of going up to meet the coach, which he did some miles 
above Brigham City. At that moment he was joined by another 
man, a passenger on the coach, and they two immediately arrested 
three other men, who were also passengers, taking them from 
the coach and calling for their baggage. The prisoners did not 
claim it, and the coach drove on around by Brigham City for 
the purpose of leaving the mail there, allowing the two detectives 
(for such the two parties first referred to claimed to be) with their 
prisoners to reach Corrinne before the coach. The captives were 
then taken to a lonely cabin and tortured, with the result that 
they confessed to being road agents on their way to the states, 
with the proceeds of more than a dozen stage robberies; further, 
that all the money was on the coach. Meantime the coach, ar- 
riving at Corrinne, drove to the express office and unloaded every- 
thing except a rough box, an old trunk and a gunny sack, all of 
which the driver of the coach knew belonged to the three men 
who had been taken from the coach beyond Brigham City. He 
then drove to the stable, and while Neal was unhitching the 
coach team he hitched up the team that the detectives had used, 
loaded the above articles into the Concord wagon, took a shovel 
and left the stable, driving out over the old pontoon bridge. 
This occurred at about 6 p. m. The driver did not return to the 
stable until about 9 o'clock, having been absent about three 
hours. Just as he was leaving the stable, however, to go home, 
one of the detectives came and wanted the baggage belonging to 
the three men who had been taken from the coach that day, say- 
ing that there was more than one hundred thousand in 
money in the outfit, besides considerable jewelry, and that he 
would "whack up" with the driver if he would get it. This the 


driver refused to do, having safely secured and hid the plunder. 
Snow falling that night obliterated all traces of the wagon track, 
and the detectives never found the stuff. Being afraid of these 
men, the driver left Corrinne immediately, believing that the so- 
called detectives were only sharpers, and would do him bodily 
harm if he did not divulge the hiding place of the treasure. His 
opinion of the detectives was probably correct, as they also left 
Corrinne a day or two afterwards, having made no report at all 
to the stage company. The driver came to Colorado, and the 
next Neal heard of him was that he was arrested for murder, 
tried, found guilty and sentenced to the Canon City penitentiary 
for life. The driver's name was Witherill, and he is the only man 
living who knows where that money is. Witherill probably went 
on the ranch in Colorado for the purpose of keeping out of sight. 
[ feel quite confident that this George Witherill here is the man. 
He, of course, keeps all this a profound secret; but you, general, 
can surely persuade him to tell you where the stuff is. It can 
not be buried more than five miles from Corrinne, as Neal said 
that the horses were cool when he brought the;m back to the barn. 
Now, can't you promise to help him to get out of here, or some- 
thing of the sort, and persuade him to tell us where to find the 
treasure? After he has given the necessary information, let him 
go to the devil, for all I care. Please let none of the officers here 
know anything about all this, as they would only make a botch 
of it, I am sure. Whatever you may want to say to me in regard 
to the matter, publish it as a "personal" in the Denver Tribune, 
addressed to "No. 5720, C. C." That paper is accessible to me 
here, and 1 shall be sure to see what you say. This goes from 
here on the quiet, so no one will see it but yourself. I have the 
honor to be, yours most respectfully, NO. 5720, C. C. 

It is almost unnecessary to state that Gen. Cook paid no at- 
tention whatever to this curious epistle. He did not believe the 
story told, and even if he had, it would not have influenced him 
to exert himself in behalf of the two scoundrels who murdered 
as peaceful a citizen as was Mr. Wall. He believed that both 
Wight and Witherill were where they belonged, and considered 
that he did his duty in assisting in putting them there. Subse- 
quent events show that they should have been left there for life, 
as the next chapter will show. 



Among the collection of laws, good, bad and indifferent, 
passed by the Colorado legislature of 1887, was one which was 
the indirect cause of the death of at least two innocent men. It 
was a law that provided that a life sentence in the penitentiary 
should be construed to mean only sixteen years, i. e., that a crim- 
inal who had been sentenced for life should be released after hav- 
ing served sixteen years. There were many ugly rumors out in 
regard to the intents and objects of the bill, but it finally passed 
by a small majority. It released from Canon George R. Witherill, 
who was set free April 8, 1887, and the crimes he had committed 
before the next legislature assembled caused that body to repeal 
the law with great celerity. 

When the murderer of the inoffensive sheep herder was re- 
leased from the prison, he at once came to Denver. While in the 
penitentiary he had made threats that he would kill Gen. Cook if 
he ever got out, because, as he said, Cook had on two or three 
occasions prevented him from securing a pardon. When Gen. 
Cook heard that Witherill had come back to Denver, he thought 
that he had come back to carry out his threat, and at once went 
in search of him. When Witherill heard that Cook was after 
him, he at once secured the services of a friend who had been a 
guard at the penitentiary, and started out to find Gen. Cook to 
square the matter and assure him that he had no intention of 
carrying out his threats. He learned that Cook was in the 
Brunswick hotel, and, following his friend in there, threw up his 
hands the instant he entered the door, begging the general not to 
shoot him. Cook told him that, knowing his sneaking and des- 


perate character, and the threats he had made, he would be fully 
justifiable in shooting him down like a dog, but that if he was 
sincere in his protestations that he wanted to live an honest life, 
he would let him go, but added that he had better leave Denver 
to make his attempt. 

Acting upon this advice, Witherill left Denver for the mount- 
ains, and was not heard of for about a year and a half, and then 
as the perpetrator of another cold-blooded and atrocious murder, 
or rather two murders. As previously related, Witherill had 
gone into the mines, first working at Durango and afterward at 
Ironton. While at Ironton he formed the acquaintance of a 
Swede by the name of Marinus Jansen, who owned a splendid 
four-horse team and a big ore wagon and outfit for hauling ore 
from the mines. "SA'itherill decided that Jansen would make an 
easy victim, and so commenced negotiations with him to go to 
Silverton to haul ore from a mine in which Witherill claimed to 
have an interest. That was the last ever seen or heard of poor 
Jansen, and his body lies rotting in some abandoned prospect hole 
in a lonely mountain side. They had started out early in Septem- 
ber, and toward the latter part of the month Witherill drove the 
outfit into Pueblo, where he disposed of it for |400. 

Having now plenty of money to loaf around and live well 
for a time without work, one would naturally suppose that With- 
erill would refrain from crime for a time at least, but he appears 
to have been a maniac on the subject of murder, who could not 
resist the temptation to kill no more than a hungry man can 
resist the temptation to eat when tempting viands are set before 
him. It would have been a good thing for the community had 
Oen. Cook shot him in Denver before he had time to make his 
Ijing explanations. He lost no time in seeking another victim; 
as before, hunting up a laboring man with some good teams. He 
hired Chas. K. McCain, and with him left Pueblo at 9 o'clock on 
the morning of October 25, to go to a point eleven miles west of 
Canon City to haul ore. They had two teams, both of which be- 
longed to McCain, who resided in Pueblo. Witherill had repre- 
sented to McCain that he was the foreman of a heavy shipping 
mine, and would give the Pueblo man lucrative employment for 


himself and teams to haul the ore from the mine to the railroad 

The men proceeded with the teams until night caught them, 
at Beaver creek crossing, eighteen miles east of Caiion City, and 
they camped. The point where they camped was not over a 
quarter of a mile from the house of Mr. Palmer, one of the com- 
missioners of Fremont county. Both evidently lay down in the 
wagons, McCain never to awaken in this world, and Witherill to 
keep diabolic watch until his victim was fast asleep. Then he 
crept, panther-like, to where the unconscious man lay, and sent 
a rifle bullet crashing through his brain. Fearing, perhaps, that 
the wound was not of a deadly nature, or because, possibly, the 
victim in his dying struggles would alarm some one, the fiend 
grasped an axe and pounded McCain's head into a mass of broken 
bone and oozing brain. The closeness of the gun when the shot 
was fired was such that the bullet passed entirely through Mc- 
Cain's head and the bottom of the wagon, to still retain enough 
momentum to flatten itself on a stone. When found, it had bits 
of bone and the blanket, which McCain had evidently had his 
head partially covered with, still attached to it. 

The fiend then proceeded with devilish cunning to conceal 
the body of his victim and indications of, his crime. The body he 
carried or dragged into a neighboring ravine and deposited in a 
ditch. He then covered it with rocks and dirt and effectually, 
as he thought, hid from the eyes of men the lifeless remains. To 
destroy the blood spots and other indications of the deed, he 
covered them with hay and burned it. The bottom of the wagon 
he rubbed with stones and with hay to efface the dreadful evi- 
dences of his crime. 

As coolly as if he were upon an ordinary business mission, 
Witherill took McCain's money and drove both teams on Satur- 
day morning into Caiion City. He camped just east of the city 
and then, going boldly into the business part of the town, he 
wrote a letter addressed to McCain's wife, in which he personated 
her husband. He informed her that he had purchased a ranch 
at Grand Junction, Colo., and had sold his teams. He asked 
her to sell all her household effects and join him as soon as pos- 
sible at the location of their new home. 



Familiar with her husband's writing, Mrs. McCain, upon the 
receipt of the letter, at once knew that it was not indited by 
him. But that might not have so much alarmed her as the quick 
intuition of her heart which told her something was dreadfully 
wrong and strange in this sudden change of plans and unex- 
pected determination to move to the western part of the state- 
and make a new home. She placed the matter before an officer, 
and at once the conclusion was reached that the life-sentenced 
murderer of Sheepman Wall had added another to his series of 
blood-stained deeds. 

The alarm was at once sent out and inquiries made. It was^ 
learned that Witherill had been at Caiion City on Saturday morn- 
ing. Shortly after the search began a man was found who knew 
him and had seen him on the road to Denver with two teams. 
On Wednesday afternoon, October 31, Deputy Sheriff Force, of 
Denver, received a telegram, informing him of the mysterious 
disappearance of McCain and of the anxiety to apprehend With- 
erill. Late the same night the deputy found Witherill at Gould- 
ing's stables. He was surly in response to questions and said 
that his name was Simon Cotter. To this Mr. Force responded: 
"That may be your name now, but it wasn't Simon Cotter or 
Simon Says-Thumbs-Up when I saw you in the pen at Caiion.'' 
This knocked the bluff out of the ex-convict and he submitted 
to arrest in silence. He refused to say anything about the where- 
abouts of his associate and went to jail. Upon being searched 
the sum of |250 was found upon him. 

Despite his effort to erase the evidences of the ghastly deed 
there were found blood stains in the bottom of the wagon. An 
axe was also found, which had blood stains on the handle. The 
presence of two pocketbooks, a double set of blankets and other 
belongings of two men among his effects were also peculiarly 
suspicious circumstances. Yet with stolid effrontery he main- 
tained that he knew nothing about Chas. McCain, and that he 
had left him in Canon alive and well. In interviews with rep- 
resentatives of the press he claimed, in substance, that McCain 
had business in Caiion and had announced to him his determina- 
tion to come to Denver and hence to go East. On that account 
he had obeyed McCain's request and had driven both the teams 



to this city, and expected him along. The following morning, 
however, when informed that the body of McCain had been found, 
he i-efused to say anything more. 

Sheriff Griffith arrived in Denver on the morning of Novem- 
ber 2, and in the afternoon started with his prisoner tow^ard 
Canon City. The reports of the determination to lynch the 
prisoner when he arrived in Canon City were, however, the 
cause of deterring the sheriff from going farther than Pueblo. 
VVitherill was incarcerated there a few days, and then again 
quietly returned to the Arapahoe county jail. It was only when 
there was no help for it, and when it became impracticable to 
longer keep him there, that Witherill w^as at length taken to 
(iaiion. The greatest precautions were taken to convey him 
there quietly. He was placed in a Kio Grande baggage car, 
securely manacled, and taken from the train five miles from 
Cafion City. From that point he was taken to the city in a close 
carriage and locked in a steel cell. It was believed that so 
secretly had the transfer been made that no information would 
leak out. In this the officers were mistaken, for it soon became 
apparent that every one in CaSon knew that at last the fiend 
whom they had determined to rid the world of was within their 

It was the 3d of December when Witherill was taken to 
Caiion, and the next morning news was received in Denver that 
he had been lynched to a telephone pole on Main street, within 
a stone's throw of the penitentiary where he had spent fifteen 
years of his life. 

The night of the tragedy was cold, dark and still. It was 
not until 6 o'clock that the information of Witherill's arrival 
was obtained, and the fact was not assured until about mid- 
night. All night the streets were alive with men, and the pros- 
pect of a lynching was the only subject of discussion. The ter- 
rible details of the McCain murder were discussed, and the spec- 
tacle of the grief-stricken wife weeping over her husband's man- 
gled remains was called to mind as demanding sure and speedy 
vengeance. Little knots of men assembled on street corners and 
in doorways recounting the infallible evidences of Witherill's 
guilt, each man sitting in judgment upon the ex-convict. All 


■■■:■ . ■■■ '.' ■'■i ■■ 4 sv^^rrS'vsijffiiK 



this time the real organized lynchers were secretly and silently 
at work. Masks were provided for the entire part^' and every 
preparation made for the attack. Two of their party knocked 
at the back door of the jail, and when Sheriff Griffith opened the 
door sprang upon him and throttled him without making a 

After the sheriff had been put out of the way, the crowd of 
masked lynchers filed into the jail and secured the keys to the 
cells from the sheriff's son. 

The dim light burning in the jail revealed Witherill in his 
cell, standing upon the defensive. He was ordered to come out, 
and cried out : 

*'Come in and take me out."' 

He had broken his wooden bedstead to pieces to secure a 
weapon, and when some of the party stepped forward to take 
him at his w'ord he used .the club with the desperate energy of 
a doomed man. There is no telling how long Witherill might 
have held his own against superior numbers had not one of the 
attacking party drawn a revolver and shot the murderer in the 
shoulder, knocking him down. He was then quickly overpowered 
and led out of the cage, with a noose around his neck and his 
hands secured behind his back. 

Surrounded by a solemn but earnest crowd, Witherill was 
marched down to Main* street to a telephone pole, about one hun- 
dred yards from the jail. The condenmed man was led to this 
pole and the rope thrown over the cross-bar by a practiced hand, 
and the end of the rope was grasped by fifty strong and willing 
hands. The triple murderer was given a minute to confess. This 
he refused to do, and he was drawn up five or six feet from the 
ground. After some seconds he was lowered until his feet 
touched the ground, and he was asked to confess the murders of 
Wall, Jansen and McCain, and upon his stubborn refusal to 
comply he was drawn up until his feet cleared the ground by 
some ten or twelve feet and the rope tied. 

Witherill's helpless body, dangling against the pole in the 
agony of death by suffocation, was watched by the assembled 
crowd without a single sign of pity or remorse. When satisfied 
that life was extinct the crowd quietly dispersed to conceal 


every evidence of t\ie judgment of Judge Lynch, except the 
ghastly figure at the end of the rope. 

As soon as daylight came, the fact that the anticipated 
lynching had been successfully accomplished was noised through 
the town, and hundreds of men, women and children went to the 
scene to view the terrible but significant sight. Old women and 
young girls stood in the bright sunlight, and gazed at the mur- 
derer's body swaying slightly in the morning breeze, without a 
shudder, and if their looks could be relied upon they, too, had 
given Witherill a mental trial and found him guilty. In all the 
crowd that viewed the remains of the dead murderer, there were 
none who could forget the murders of Wall, and of Jansen, and 
of McCain, long enough to pity the wretch who had in a measure 
paid the penalty of his many crimes. 



One morning in May, 1885, the people of Colorado gen- 
erally, and of Denver in particular, were very greatly surprised 
to read the announcement in the papers among the Washing- 
ton dispatches, that "Hon." C. P. Judd had been appointed by 
President Cleveland agent and statistician for the government 
labor bureau for Colorado and the adjacent territories. 

The name of "Hon.*' C. P. Judd in connection with dem- 
ocracy in Colorado was totally unknown, and the fact that it 
was the first appointment made in the state by the new ad- 
ministration, gave it an added importance. Prominent dem- 
ocratic politicians were besieged with inquiries as to the identity 
of this new democratic star that had so lately burst into such 
meteoric brilliance; their only reply was: "Don't know; never 
heard of him before." While the politicians were still speculat- 
ing, a reporter for the Denver Times happened to remember 
that Gen. D. J. Cook, of the Kocky Mountain Detective Associa- 
tion, knew almost everybody of any importance who had ever 
lived in Colorado for any length of time, and to the general 
he went with his inquiry. He was rewarded with what is 
termed in newspaper parlance, "a bully good story." 

Gen. Cook had known Judd for years. In fact, his acquaint- 
ance with the newly made labor agent was so familiar that he 
had at one time taken a trip to Caflon City with the gentleman, 
at which time Mr. Judd had taken up his residence there for 
a period of one year for having appropriated a valuable horse 
and buggy belonging to a man named Veasey, living in Denver. 


This was only one of a long list of crimes of which he was 
guilty. He was a born thief, with a predisposition Xo horse- 
flesh, and had done time in more than one penal institution 
for his thieving i)roclivities. His first exploit in this line, so 
far as known, consisted in stealing a wagon load of groceries 
and provisions from a freighter, who was hauling supplies from 
Topeka, Kan., to Fort Kiley, at an early day before railroads 
were built through that section. The freighter's horses, which 
had been turned loose to graze at night, had strayed away, and 
while he was away hunting them, along came Judd, who lived 
near. There was no one about and he deemed it too good a 
chance to lose. Securing a team of his own he hitched to the 
wagon and drove off. The owner soon returned with his horses,. 
and finding the wagon gone, set out to tracking the thief, whom 
he overtook after folloAving him fourteen miles. Judd was con- 
victed and sentenced to the state penitentiary at Leavenworth 
for three years. 

After serving his term out, he decided that the boundless- 
West afforded better opportunities for the exercise of his pe- 
culiar talents, and accordingly he came to Colorado early in 
the '70's. 

When he came to Denver he showed the same fondness for 
other people's property. In 1871 he stole a horse and buckboard 
belonging to A. H. Jones, the liquor man, and in 1872 he stole 
a bicycle or velocipede from a man whose place of business was 
on Fifteenth street, next door to where Cella's restaurant was 
located. On both of these charges he was cleared by Gen. 
Sam Browne, who proved to the court that Judd was a klepto- 

In 1873 he was arrested and sent to the county jail for one 
year (there being no state penitentiary at that time) for steal- 
ing a gold watch from a lady in West Denver, at what is known 
as the Williams house. He' served this sentence and was dis- 
charged on February 28, 1874. In 1875 he was arrested, tried, 
convicted and sentenced to the state penitentiary for one year 
for stealing a horse and buggy and several hundred laths from 
a man named Veasey, as related above. The last crime he com- 
mitted before breaking into politics so suddenly and so sue- 


cessfullj, was the theft of a horse and buggy, the property of 
William Dingle, a Denver druggist, on the 14th of October, 
1883, while the rig was standing in front of the store of the 
owner, in the Tabor block. He was seen by several parties to 
cross Cherry Creek bridge at Larimer street and drive out in 
the country. The matter was reported to the police, and De- 
tective Mart Watrous was put to work on the case. He went 
to Judd's house and charged him with the crime. After deny- 
ing it for a time, Judd finally confessed and went with Watrous, 
gathered up the property and turned it over to the detective. 

The horse had been turned loose and wandered home. The 
buggy was found in a piece of woods down the Platte. A val- 
uable lap robe belonging to Mrs. Dingle was found buried with 
the harness and the whip was found in another place. Judd 
was taken before Justice Sopris. 

While that official was busily engaged in making out the 
warrant, Judd slipped out of the court room and made his es- 
cape. After getting away from Denver, Judd went to Leadville, 
where he succeeded in identifying himself with some labor or- 
ganization, soon after starting out on the road as an organizer. 
He traveled over the state considerably, and through his con- 
nection with this organization he was enabled to make the 
acquaintance of several i)rominent men, whose endorsements 
later secured for him the government position. 

At the time he was appointed to his position, Gen. D. J. 
Cook stated, in a published interview, as related above, that 
he was the same man that had served several terms in prison 
for larceny. 

At the time the interview was published, Hon. C. S. Thomas 
cut it out and sent it to the commissioner of the labor bureau 
at Washington. He shortly after received a letter from the 
coinmissioner, stating that there was evidently some mistake, 
that he had consulted with Mr. Judd regarding the matter, and 
that the latter had stated to him that there was another C. P. 
Judd — a criminal — in Colorado, and that this fact had frequently 
caused him much annoyance. Mr. Thomas showed this letter 
to Gen. Cook, and the latter told him to write again to the 
commissioner, asking for the appointee's photograph. This was 


done, and on the 22d of June the commissioner wrote in reply 
that Judd had started by a circuitous route for Colorado, and 
that he would, at some time during his trip, be at Leadville. 
It was, therefore, impossible for him to secure his photograph. 
The commissioner further expressed the hope that the Colorado 
officials would look him up, and see if he really was the criminal 
and fugitive from justice, or whether his story was true. 

Gen. Cook immediately went to work on the case, and in 
a short time was on the track of his man. Soon after this Judd's 
wife came to Denver and stopped at the house of a relative in 
West Denver. The detectives began to watch her and her corre- 
spondence. In a few days she received a postal from Judd, 

dated Leadville, telling her to come to Alamosa and meet him 
there. On learning of the receipt of this postal by Mrs. Judd, 
Gen. Cook went before Judge Sopris and swore out a warrant 
for his arrest for stealing Dingle's horse and buggy. This he 
placed in the hands of Joe Smith, who happened to be in the 
city at the time, and the latter took the same train with Mrs. 
Judd for Alamosa. 

When Judd came forward to meet his wife. Sheriff Smith 
stepped up and arrested him. He was not very much discon- 
certed, and immediately sent his wife to Silverton, where she 
had a sister living, and without any further proceedings an- 
nounced his willingness to come to Denver. Upon his arrival 
in this city he was taken to Gen. Cook's office, where he made 
the following statement in writing: 

''Denver, Colo., August 12, 1885. 

"This is to bear witness that, whereas, the undersigned was 
appointed by Secretary L. Q. C. Lamar, a special agent of the 
bureau of labor on the IGth day of May, A. D. 1885, and was 
thereafter represented by certain members of the democratic 
party in the state of Colorado as the identical C. P. Judd who 
had served a term in the penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kan., 
in the county jail of Arapahoe county in the state of Colorado, 
and in the penitentiary at Canon City in said state; and, 
whereas, in an interview with a reporter of the Denver Times 
with D, J. Cook, superintendent of the Kocky Mountain Detec- 
tive Agency, Gen. Cook made the above charges and statements 


concerning the undersigned, wliich interview was published 
shortly after said appointment, and a copy thereof forwarded 
by C. S. Thomas to the interior department, at Washington; 
therefore, I hereby declare that the above statements and charges 
are correct, and that 1 am the identical C. P. Judd referred to 
In said interview and in said charges. "C. P. JUDD." 

Of course after this Judd lost no time in resigning the posi- 
tion, and Mr. Dingle agreed to drop the prosecution if Judd 
would leave the state never to return. This he readily agreed 
to, and he seems to have faithfully kept his word. 

Judd originally came from Illinois, where his family was 
well known a?nd respected. He was a large, good looking man, 
a fluent and persuasive talker, and a man whose opinions 
changed as rapidly as a kaleidoscope. Early in the campaign 
he published a card claiming to be the first man in the United 
States to suggest the name of Grover Cleveland for president. 
Subsequently he made several speeches for Blaine, presumably 
for a cash consideration. After he found that Cleveland had 
been successful, he at once became a good democrat once more, 
and at once set out to secure endorsements for the position which 
he was afterward lucky enough to secure. As a matter of 
course, he gave Denver a wide berth, but he was fortunate 
enough to secure the influence of several prominent democrats 
in other parts of the state, among whom were Dr. J. J. Crooke 
and Hon. George Goldthwaite, of Leadville, who had both writ- 
ten letters to the interior department endorsing Judd in the 
strongest terms, besides this, the Hon. Harley B. Morse, of 
Central City, had gone to the department in person to" recom- 
mend the rascal, whose suave manners and glib tongue had de- 
ceived him thoroughly. After Judd's exposure and consequent 
downfall, he decided that the West was too swift for him, and 
he was last heard from in Iowa, where he was supposed to 
belong to a gang of counterfeiters. 

At all events, Colorado was well rid of a scoundrel who 
would have brought disgrace upon her fair name, had it not 
been for Gen. Cook's wide acquaintance and perfect recollection 
of men and events, and his untiring efforts to bring criminals 
of whatever age or station to justice. 




There are snide detectives just as there are shyster lawyers, 
quack doctors and dead-beat newspaper men. We have our share 
of the pretenders and dead beats, and thej do us more harm than 
good. The worst case which has ever disgraced our annals here 
in Denver was that of one L. P. Oris wold — a hard nut, too, he 
was. His machinations here resulted in his own tragic death, and 
in that of one other man, certainly, if not of a third ; also develop- 
ing several plots of intricate and diabolical design, and bringing 
many people into the affair before it was ended. 

The series of occurrences with which Griswold was connected 
had their beginning in the summer of 1870, and did not terminate 
until in the winter of 1872, covering a period of eighteen months, 
owing to the delay of the law. Griswold had been a great deal 
about Cheyenne. Cheyenne was a bad place in those days. It 
was enjoying its railroad boom. Times were lively, and murders, 
holdups and burglaries were frequent. There was a vigilance 
committee which did some good work. It was frequently con- 
sidered necessary by this committee to pronounce sentence of 
death upon offenders in the community, and Griswold was for a 
long time employed to, execute the decrees of the court of Judge 
Lynch. This was not wrong, but the committee made a mistake 
in the employment of Griswold as the executioner. He was a bad 
man — such a man as would kill a fellow-being for a few dollars. 
Whenever sentence of death was pronounced upon a victim he 


was turned over to Griswold, who would secure a gang and hang 
and rob him. 

But to come to the story. Cheyenne finally quieted down, 
and Griswold was without a calling. He came to Denver and to 
Gen. Cook, of the Eocky Mountain Detective Association, one 
day, wanting employment, professing to be a detective. Cook told 
him he could do nothing for him, but would give him a "pointer" 
on a case which he could have if he desired, not knowing his real 
character then. 

Some weeks before, the Myers Fisher ranch on Clear creek 
had been burned — houses, stables, etc. — and Fisher had come to 
the conclusion that the fire had been caused by an incendiary, 
and he offered a reward of $400 for the capture and punishment 
of the perpetrator of the crime. Cook looked into the case, and 
he became convinced that the fire had been caused by accident, 
and would have nothing to do with it. This was the case which 
he gave Griswold, who was glad enough to get it. In the hope of 
receiving the reward offered, as it afterwards developed, Gris- 
wold then began to lay a plot which was simply hellish in design. 

It so happened that Fisher, the owner of the ranch, had had 
some trouble with one James O'Neal, a man who lived some 
twelve miles away, near Littleton, and, although* O'Neal was a 
quiet and law-abiding man, Griswold determined to fasten the 
crime of incendiarism upon him. He also discovered that there 
had been a fire on another ranch near that of Fisher's, owned by 
a man named Patrick. To this man and his sons he went with 
his story. Knowing that he could never convict O'Neal, he asked 
the Patricks if it could be proven — as he afterwards stated in 
his confession — that O'Neal had fired both places, they would con- 
sent to the capture and lynching of him. They were willing. 
He brought them what they considered sufficient proof of O'Neal's 
guilt, which Griswold had procured in his own peculiar way. 

Griswold and George Patrick, son of the old man, then came 
to Denver and swore out a warrant before James S. Taylor, then 
a justice of the peace in Denver, under false names, for O'Neal's 
arrest, Griswold getting himself appointed a special officer. He 
accomplished this by stating to the justice that he had seen Cook, 
who was then sheriff, which was not true, and that Cook had 


stated that he was unable to go out to make the arrest. The con- 
stable he declared he could not find. He further represented that 
it was essential that O'Neal should be arrested that night, and at 
last succeeded in making it appear necessary that he and his 
friend should be sent upon the mission. Their statements proved 
to be false in every respect, as will appear, and were the first 
clue which the detectives had when it came to looking up the case. 

Having procured their warrant, the two men drove out to 
O'Neal's ranch, where they arrived late in the afternoon of the 
same day. They introduced themselves to the unsuspecting man 
as officers and told him their mission, but were, withal, so pleas- 
ant as not to create any suspicion that his arrest was merely a 
trap to secure the poor fellow for execution. He never dreamed 
what character of man he had to deal with in Griswold, and that 
hell-hound had coolly made up his mind to take his life, although 
he believed him not guilty, for a pitiful sum of money. 

"All right, gentlemen," O'Neal replied. "I will go with you. 
I am willing to stand my trial, especially as I feel confident of my 
own innocence, and know that I can prove it. I have nothing to 
fear. But it is late; come in and take supper with me before 

This invitation, extended in all courtesy and hospitality, was 
accepted by the two men, who, although they may have been 
hungry, were more anxious to gain time than to appease their 

Supper being over, dark was coming on, and the three men 
prepared for their ride, the terminus of which it was supposed 
would be for all in Denver. Griswold and Patrick had ridden out 
in a two-seated buggy, but they requested O'Neal to take a seat 
between them, and all three started off in quite a jovial mood. 
This joviality was soon increased, for the vehicle was well loaded 
down with whiskey and cigars, and the three men were soon 
laughing and joking and drinking with each other like old-time 

Thus they journeyed on to the crossing of the Platte. The 
chances are that by this time poor O'Neal was well filled with 
whiskey and capable of making hut little resistance against any 
attack upon him. Be that as it may, he was taken from the buggy 


at Brown's bridge, and when he was next seen his soul had de- 
serted its flesh tenement and talcen up its abode in another realm. 
When found the next day the body was dangling from a 
girder of the bridge, with a card pinned on the back stating that 
the man had been lynched because he had burned Fisher's and 
Patrick's ranches and stolen cattle, and that he had made full 
confession of the fact. In conclusion, cattle thieves and evil- 
doers generally were warned to beware of their ways, and no- 
tified that the vigilantes were ever on their track. 

Gen. Cook was among the first to view the body. Griswold 
and Patrick were the murderers. So much may be stated here. 
They early sought to cover up their crime and, like many more 
enlightened criminals, made the newspapers useful in their work. 
Coming into Denver that night, they went to the offices of the 
public journals and told how they had been sent out as special 
officers to arrest O'lSTeal on the charges above related, giving the 
same false names which they had given Justice Taylor, and stat- 
ing that they had proceeded as far as Brown's bridge with their 
prisoner when they were set upon by a band of disguised men, 
who compelled them to deliver over the prisoner at the muzzles 
of a hundred revolvers. They told how they had pleaded in vain 
for the life of the prisoner, and how that indiA'idual, after quiver- 
ing and quaking and making a faint denial, had at last confessed 
the crime. Their prisoner being taken, they had, they said, been 
compelled to drive on, and were then ignorant of his fate, though 
they supposed he had been lynched. 

The newspapers which told this story the next morning bore 
a revelation to Gen. Cook. He had kept no track of Griswold 
and the O'Neal case, supposing that when the supposed detective 
should find that the charges were unfounded he would drop it and 
cease his efforts. Furthermore, he was sheriff of the county, and 
thought he would have known, or at least thought he ought to 
have known, if any arrest of as much importance as that of 
O'Neal had been made. But he was totally in the dark. The 
names of the officers given in the papers were not even recognized, 
Griswold and Patrick having used their false names in the story. 

Mr. Cook began to investigate. His work was soon well 
under way. He obtained his first clue from Justice Taylor, who 


related the circumstances of the two men swearing out warrants 
for O'Neal's arrest and stating that Cook had refused to go and 
make the arrests. From the justice's description of the two "spec- 
ial deputies," Cook inferred that the two men were Griswold and 

"A clue and a big one," he soon afterwards told one of his 
men. "Griswold is the murderer of O'Neal. He gave his wrong 
name to the justice, and he lied about me. Here is where he 
began to cover up his tracks. Griswold is the man we want. This 
newspaper story is all bosh." 

But the case had still to be worked up. So far he had no 
basis for his operations but inference. There was a great deal 
more to know before an arrest could be made. And he must 
operate rapidly and shrewdly, otherwise his man might escape. 
He determined to visit Brown's bridge and obtain whatever clue 
he might there. 

Gen. Cook, accompanied by one of his officers, rode rapidly 
out the road towards Littleton, feeling quite confident that he 
would find that O'Neal had been murdered, and hopeful of obtain- 
ing some clue as to. the identity of the murderers. He was not 
disappointed, and every step taken confirmed his suspicions previ- 
ously formed, that Griswold had murdered O'Neal, and that the 
report of the lynching was a mere pretense. He found the body 
swinging as it had been left, awaiting the action of the coroner. 
Some of the country people had begun to gather about the scene 
of the killing, having heard of the finding of the body. They 
viewed the ghastly sight with horror and with manifestations s» 
marked as to destroy all idea which the bogus special deputy had 
sought to convey that the enraged populace had taken the mam 
from them and hanged him. 

A few were found by the officers who had seen the two men 
who had come out to arrest O'Neal, and their descriptions of the 
men were so accurate as to clear away whatever trace of doubt 
that might have remained with the detective as to their being 
Griswold and Patrick. 

But still a stronger circumstance remained to aid in com- 
pleting the theory which Cook was gradually forming. The snide 
officers had told the newspapers that a large number of mea 


stopped them and took their prisoner from them. Cook found 
the place at which the buggy had stopped, and where the prisoner 
had been removed; but Instead of the tracks of a hundred men, 
or of fifty, or twenty, he discovered the footprints of but three of 
them. Of these, evidently only one had approached the buggy, 
while three had left it, dragging the prisoner, as the surface of 
the soil afforded every evidence. Hence Mr. Cook decided that 
the two men in the buggy with O'Neal had strangled him there 
while, perhaps, he was under the influence of liquor, and that they 
had been assisted in taking him out and stringing him up by a 
confederate who had joined them at Brown's bridge. 

One more clue only is necessary to make a complete chain of 
very strong circumstantial evidence. The rope with which O'Neal 
was hanged- — where did that come from? Bringing it to Denver 
with him. Gen. Cook succeeded in ascertaining where it had been 
bought, and that it was purchased on the afternoon before the 
night of the murder by Oris wold. 

If there are any who think Dave Cook not a shrewd detective, 
they ought to be convinced of their error after reading the story of 
the working up of this case. 



There was now left nothing to do but to arrest the two men 
who had betrayed and murdered O'Neal, and for this denouement 
preparations were now made. While working up the O'Neal case, 
Griswold had taken a fancy to a woman living with her husband 
on Clear creek, a quiet and peaceable man, and the two becoming 
attached to each other, he had driven the husband awav and 
remained with the wife, filling the role of husband himself. Gris- 
wold lived with this woman at her former husband's home, and 
seemed to feel no delicacy whatever concerning the fine points of 
the situation. 

Two days elapsed before Gen. Cook had succeeded in obtain- 
ing the clues set forth in the preceding chapter, and while it was 
feared that the murderers might make their escape, the fact was 
not lost sight of that the offense charged was a heinous one, and 
Cook felt that a great injustice might be done in arresting the 
men as long as there was any doubt as to their guilt. Hence the 
delay in taking the culprits into hand. 

Detectives Frank Smith and Charley McCune were selected 
to make the arrest of the precious pair, and were ordered to Clear 
Creek valley for that purpose. They went first to the residence of 
Patrick, and found to their regret that they had come too late. 
That worthy had folded his tent and stolen away, leaving home 
and friends behind, evidently fearing apprehension. 

The officers proceeded with caution to Griswold's home, fear- 
ing detection from a distance, and in case of detection a decidedly 
warm welcome. But they at last succeeded in getting to his 


house, and upon making inquiry for him, found that he had just 
gone out — out where no one knew. 

The officers began now to feel that they had happened in a 
day after the feast, and sadly turned their horses' heads towards 
the city, disappointed and dejected that they had had such bad 
luck as they felt that they had had. But there was nothing left 
but a return to the city, with their report; so at least they felt, as 
they quitted the house where Griswold had so recently been. Yet 
there was still reason for hope of at least partial success, and 
they very soon came to realize that all was not lost. 

Shortly after leaving Griswold's late place of abode, the offi- 
cers discovered a mounted man moving in advance of them, and 
across a field. They spurred up, and were not long in discovering 
that this man was no other than Griswold. The officers had come 
prepared to deceive him. They were dressed as cow-boys — wore 
large sombrero hats, tucked their breeches legs into their boot- 
tops, and carried whips in their hands, which they twirled about 
and cracked as cow-Tboys do. Taking a different road from that 
which Griswold was pursuing, the two men contrived to ride 
around and come up so as to cut him off without creating sus- 
pision. They had no hope of finding him unarmed, and hence 
were desirous of avoiding a fight if possible. Their disguise was 
so excellent that it served to save them from this necessity. They 
rode very close to Griswold before he took any notice of them, 
and were less than thirty feet distant when Griswold recognized 
Smith's face, with which he was familiar. 

The murderer showed his colors in a moment. Appreciating 
that the two ''cow-boys" were officers come to arrest him, he was 
prepared to defend himself. He sought his gun with great cel- 
erity, and was raising it to fire, when he found himself staring 
along the barrels of as pretty a pair of weapons as were ever pre- 

'Tut that gun down, Griswold," commanded Frank Smith. 
"Put it down, or you die." 

The gun dropped. 

"Now, hands up!" 

Reluctantly the fellow's hands went up. 

He was then disarmed and was soon on his way to Denver. 


It was then discovered that the fellow was well provided with 
provisions and ammunition, and that he was just starting to 
make his escape from the state when come upon by the oflScers. 

Griswold had a long trial. He took a change of venue from 
Denver to Evans, Weld county, and there, after the case was thor- 
oughly tried, he was remanded to jail in Denver for a new trial 
Eleven of the jurymen favored hanging, and the twelfth was for 
bringing in a verdict oi hanslaughter and sending him to the peni- 
tentiary for life. No one doubted the man's guilt. The splendid 
chain of evidence which Gen. Cook had prepared left no room for 
doubt on that score. But the twelfth man was not a believer in 
hanging and held out to the last, causing the jury to go before the 
court with a disagreement report. The murder of O'Neal had 
been committed on the 10th of July, 1870, but, owing to delays, 
the month of February, 1872, had now come around, and the law 
was only preparing to take its course. Griswold, who had been 
the cause of so much summary punishment, looked forward to his 
own fate with the greatest dread, and began to make prepara- 
tions to escape. His plans were well laid, and as he had plenty 
of outside assistance, it is a great wonder that he did not accom- 
plish his purpose. He was certainly desperate enough, as will 
soon appear. 

It was on Saturday, the 24th of February, that an attempt was 
made to escape from the county jail in Denver, and which at- 
tempt resulted in one of the most exciting scenes ever witnessed 
in a prison. Two prisoners, Michael Henesee and a negro, named 
Dan Diamond, were engaged scrubbing the premises and making 
a general clean-up. While in the companion way leading be- 
tween the cells from the front office to a room adjoining the day 
cell in the rear, they had occasion to wash the cells of Griswold 
and E. E. Wight, the last named being the man who figures in 
the Wall murder story. The turnkey, Sanf ord W. Davis, allowed 
these men to emerge from their cells for the purpose of going to 
the water closet, a few feet away, and in the enclosure, there be- 
ing no accommodations for them in the cells, and as both were 
heavily ironed no fears were entertained of any outbreak. Gris- 
wold passed to the front office and called out to L, F. or "Till'^ 
Davis, brother to the turnkey, for a chew of tobacco. Davis wa» 


in the bedroom adjoining and did not answer, Tshereupon Gris- 
wold turned back, and as he did so he suddenly drew a bludgeon^ 
consisting of a boulder in the toe of a stocking prepared in the 
water closet, from some place of concealment and dealt the turn- 
key a blow on the back of the head. This had the effect to fell 
him to the floor, but he soon regained his feet, and after a scuffle 
with Wight, Griswold and Diamond, the negro, who had joined 
the mutineers, he ran towards the large room in the rear, closely 
followed by Griswold. 

During this melee, Henesee, the other prisoner, acting 
promptly and looking to the welfare of the turnkey, dragged 
Wight awaj' from Davis and to his cell, and called for help. 
While the matter stood thus — Griswold and Davis, the turnkey,, 
in the back room, and Griswold in possession of the latter's pis- 
tol, Henesee holding the door against Wight and endeavoring ta 
readjust the tumbler lock — the brother of the turnkey grasped a 
revolver and courageously entered the companion-way and tried 
to lock Wight's cell door, in the meantime holding his revolver in 
his right hand. This all transpired in a few seconds. 

Griswold, finding that Wight's exit was barred, returned to 
the rear doorway, stepped down into the companion-way and 
stood facing young Davis, who was endeavoring to lock the cell, 
only a few feet distant. The situation, of course, demanded des- 
perate action on the part of one or the other, and as Griswold 
leveled his revolver at the young man, the latter in turn drew 
bead upon the prisoner, and both fired simultaneously. The ball 
from Griswold's pistol probably passed through the front door- 
way and into the street; the ball from young Davis' revolver en- 
tered Griswold's body, inflicting a mortal wound. He, however, 
pressed towards Davis, who retreated and discharged a shot, 
when Wight emerged from his cell, seized Griswold's pistol, 
passed to the rear and made a second attack upon the turnkey, 
who endeavored to make his escape. Wight, however, fired too 
shots at Davis, one of which grazed the back of his head. The 
desperado then passed out at the rear, and secreted himself in 
the jail barn under the hay. 

Of course, all the foregoing had happened in less time than it 
takes to read the account of it. The sheriff's office at that time 


was where it now is on Fifteenth street, on the alley between 
Larimer and Lawrence, and the jail was on Larimer between 
Fourteenth and Fifteenth, running back to the alley, so that they 
were not far apart. Gen. Cook was sitting in the sheriff's office 
at the time of the shooting, and, hearing it, hurried over through 
the alley to the prison, and stationing a man at the back door, 
told him to let no one in or out. The crowd was already gather- 
ing, and Cook was afraid of a general row. Running in he found 
Till Davis, one of the guards, with a smoking pistol in his hand. 
"What's up?" he demanded. 

"Oh, the devil's to paj'," he replied. "We've had some seri- 
ous work here." 

"Where's Sanford?" — Sanford Davis was a brother of Till's. 
^'Where is Sanford?" he asked. 

"Oh, he's dead," replied Till; "shot by Griswold." 

"Where's Griswold?" 

"He's back there somewhere — I don't know where." 

Cook went to work to investigate, and found a confused state 
of affairs, which has been described as well as can be in the fore- 
going. The officers of the jail had not yet had an opportunity to 
■ascertain the true state of affairs. In fact, the smoke of the late 
affray had not yet cleared away. It was generally believed that 
Sanford Davis had been shot, and no one knew that Griswold had 
received the liberal dose of lead for which his malady called so 
loudly. Confusion reigned supreme, and everybody was excited. 
The jail was a pandemonium. Nothing was known. There was 
<;haos everywhere. A half dozen men might have been killed. 

Gen. Cook lost no time in beginning to straighten matters 
out. Finding that Wight had taken part in the melee, Cook hur- 
ried to his cell, but found Griswold in it instead of Wight. Cook 
■demanded his pistol. He said he had given it to Wight. 

"I am dying, don't you see?" he muttered, "and couldn't use 
it if I had it. So I opened the cell and came in and let Wight 
out and told him to make his escape if he wanted to get away, as 
I couldn't." 

"Shot! Of course you are! Come out of here!" exclaimed 
Dave, who never dreamed that the old scoundrel had been hurt in 
the row which he had instigated, and did not dare hope that he 


had been mortally wounded. ^V^ith this exclamation he dragged 
the fellow out by the coat collar, large as he was, and laid him 
out in the office, when he discovered that the man was really not 
feigning. He then found that Till Davis had planted a ball in the 
old fellow's breast, and left him to make his peace with his 
Maker; and went to look for Wight. 

Cook tracked Wight to the stable and began looking for him 
with a pitchfork in the straw. He had sent the steel prongs of 
the implement piercing through the hay but once or twice, when 
out he crawled, leaving the pistol cocked lying on the floor. 
When Cook took Wight back to jail, old Griswold was dead. He 
had been shot through and through. 

Everybody considered that he deserved his fate, and there 
were few mourners to follow his body to the old cemetery on the 
hill the next day. There may have been one or two. It was after- 
wards discovered that the jail delivery had been planned with the 
assistance of two citizens of the town, who had horses in waiting 
for the murderers. One of them has since died. 

The woman with whom Griswold had lived was another 
mourner. She seemed to be sincerelv attached to the man, whom 
she now called her poor, dear husband. It was discovered after 
Griswold's death that during his imprisonment this woman had 
done everything in her power to assist him in his escape, and had 
been his confidant and adviser throughout. 

After Wight, one of the prisoners who attempted to escape 
from the jail, had been rearrested, it occurred to the officers to 
search his person in order to ascertain, if possible, the origin of 
the difficulty which had resulted in the death of one of the par- 
ties thereto. In one of his pockets was found a package of let- 
ters, which scrutiny disclosed to have been written by Griswold. 
These letters were perfectly unintelligible to the ordinary reader^ 
being traced in cipher, probably invented by Griswold himself. 
To pick them out was, however, a comparatively easy matter ta 
the detectives, as they had already discovered the key to the 
cipher. One of the letters, developing the plot for escape, ran as 

''Dear Jennie — The horses must not be more than two blocks 
awav; we will come out of the front door, and von or Alex 


ought to be on the opposite side of the street, so that when we 
went out you could walk by where the horses were, and then 
there could be no mistake. We only want the horses now to go 
to the mountains. T want Alex to come and get them. Then you 
or him see Henry and have other ones got. I do not know 
whether we will have Spencers or Winchesters; we will have one 
or the other, but we may not get cartridges. Have Alex get 5 
hundred rounds of each, so we can take which ever we want; 
also twenty-five rounds of 36, and the same of 44. Those 
we don't want he can take back. Have plenty of cakes (provis- 
ions). Take two sacks, a part full of eatables; they must be more 
than half full, so that Ave can lay them across the saddles, one 
«ack on each horse. The principal things are bread; hard tack 
if you can get it; no more than seven or eight pounds of bacon; 
lots of salt and pepper, and lots of coffee, ground. Mind you, lots 
of that is all that has kept me alive. You had better have a 
■quart of whiskey on each saddle, for we are nothing but skin and 
bones, and very weak. We can not ride far without stimulants. 
We will stay near Denver until we get strength; we are getting 
worse here every day, and I assure you I will not leave here until 
I square accounts with Smith. 

''But we must have plenty of ammunition, for it makes no 
•difference whether we fight in the streets or anvwhere else. I 
will never be taken, and if I should have the good fortune to get 
killed, you will find the address of those you want, with full di- 
rections. It will be in the waist bands of my pants that I have 
on. If I am not killed I will write and have some money sent to 
you. The 'old man' can go for wood and bring provisions. 1 
don't expect you to buy anything, but tell Alex to get them. Bet- 
ter get some chewing tobacco. I want one bottle of morphine, 
for riding will hurt me. I wear napkins. I can almost span my 
arm above my elbow. I am the poorest I ever was but I must 
or die. I have some time thought you was afraid of me if I 
should get away. I have never showed myself a brute 3'et. I 
don't think I will begin now. I will send for you as soon as I can. 
I will send you money very soon, if I go to h — 11 for it. Remem- 
ber that I think everj'thing will be furnished, if I once get out. 
They are all scared about it. We will go some time between 12 


and 3 — I think about 2 o'clock. Let Alex be on the opposite side 
and walk near the horses, but not come near us; he must follow 
so to get the horses. If you are bothered or insulted, we know . 
I will make their blood run a rain of terror or burn their city 
until they stop. I tell you, if they cross me I will have their 
hearts, but to you I will be as I always have been, your husband; 
will stake my life for you in an}- way it may be necessary. If I 
am killed, remember mv waist band. Be careful of the kev I 
gave you. I will risk my life for it. They can't read. Good-by. 

"L. P. G." 

This letter was not fully deciphered until the body had been 
buried. It was afterwards disinterred by W. F. t-?mith. the 
county jailer, in order to ascertain whether it had been buried 
with any valuable papers, as the above would indicate. He 
searched the clothing thoroughly, but found only two scraps of 
paper — one two leaves from Harper's magazine containing the 
poem "Hannah Jane," and the other a piece of paper with a 
few words in cipher. On the former was the following significant 
problem — significant in the light of recent events. Griswold 
was probably trying to study it out. It was as follows: "A 
problem: A prisoner anxious to escape, and a dead man await- 
ing burial; how were these two things to be exchanged so that 
the living man might pass out without going to the grave?" 

So ended, with his own life, the bloody work which ''Old 
Griswold" had begun. His wife, or "woman," is still living in 
or near Denver. Wight, his accomplice, was the man who had 
assisted Witherill in the murder of Wall, the herder on Dry 
creek, an account of which crime is elsewhere in this volume re- 

Dan Diamond, the negro, was one of the worst "coons'' that 
ever came to Denver. He. as well as Wight, is probably also 
at Canon. He never stays out more than a few months, as he 
is always stealing when out. But he escaped on the day of the 
fracas. The officers heard of him a few days afterwards at a 
ranch twenty four miles down the Platte, and followed him down 
there. Thev were told that he was in the second storv of /a 


house there. Cook went with a posse after him and stationed 
men outside with guns pointing at every window, and went up 


to where he was himself, with drawn revolver. They expected 
hira to jump out and be killed. But he didn't. He was a down- 
right disappointment. Cook found him lying flat on his face 
on a bed, crying: *'0h, Missah Ofifisah, I dun gib up; don kill 
me now; Tse yer man. I go right along wid you." xVnd he 
did go. 

As for Hennessee, the gambler, who came to Davis' rescue, 
he was pardoned out immediately and voted a resolution of 

Till Davis was but slightly hurt, after all. He thought he 
had been shot, but wasn't. The wound caused by the stone 
stunned him and the blood flowed freely for a while, but he soon 
recovered and is supposed to be still living. 

Patrick, the man who went with Griswold to arrest O'Neal, 
and who was supposed to have been equally responsible for his 
death, has never, since the day after the murder, been seen in 
Colorado. It was believed that he went to Kansas, but no sat- 
isfactory clue being obtained, he was not searched for in that 

With one other name and one other fatality this 'record 
closes. John Tusawn was a brother-in-law of Patrick. He lived 
near Brown's bridge previous to and after O'Neal's death. Com- 
mon report made him a part}' to the murder of the victim; but, 
although circumstances pointed to his guilt, evidence sufficient 
to convict him was never found, and he was not molested. It 
is, however, known that ever after the ghastly tragedy he lived 
a moody, gloomy life. When the grasshoppers came along in 
1875, he lost his crops, and that fall he ended a now thoroughly 
miserable existence by committing suicide. It was given out 
that the ravages of the locusts had produced his despondency, 
and had indirectly caused him to take his own life, but those 
who knew him best say that he took this step to avoid the 
further sight of the horrible spectacle of O'Neal's dead body 
dangling constantly before his eyes. 

Old Griswold was a curse to all who came in contact with 
him. He did not die any too soon, and the world would have 
probably been better had he never been born. 




One of the boldest robberies on record was committed one 
cold evening during the Christmas holidays of 1879, at the 
saloon of C. E. Leichsenring, then on the corner of Sixteenth and 
Holladay streets, Denvei-, supplemented by one of the most 
adroit captures ever effected in the city. The particulars in the 
case are about as follows: It was near 8 o'clock when Mr. • 
Leichsenring was induced to open his safe, in the rear of the 
saloon, by a man named Aver, who represented himself to be 
a United States marshal from Leadville, and expressed a desire 
to examine the complicated workings of the time lock on the 
inner door of the safe, which was one of the small Hall patterns, 
and an object of great interest as a mechanical contrivance. 

While Mr. Leichsenring was explaining the process of lock- 
ing and opening the door of the same to Ayer, his attention 
was for a moment attracted to another part of the house, and 
it is supposed that the robbery was committed during the brief 
period that his back was turned. The theory is that during this 
interim, an accomplice of Ayer, named Rocky McDonald, took 
out of the safe a canvas bag containing |4,800 in |20 and |10 gold 
pieces and some government bonds, altogether amounting to 
$5,000, and walked out of the saloon before the absence of the 
bag was noticed. 


When Ml'. Leichsenring turned around lie immediately de- 
tected that the safe had been robbed, and thinking that Aver 
was the guilty party, immediately seized him and turned him 
over to Officer Newman, who at that juncture happened to enter 
the saloon. The report of the robbeiy spread like wildfire, and 
the amount stolen was quickly exaggerated to fS.OOO in gold. 
McDonald's presence had been noticed by three or four other 
men, who were seated in the saloon at the time, but no one had 
seen him take the money. 

Mr. Leichsenring notified the sheriff's office and the police 
as speedily as possible, and officers flocked to the scene of the 
robbery by the dozen. Gen. Cook was at that time neither 
sheriff nor chief of police, but his detective association was as 
active as ever and ''just aching"' for a neat job in which it might 
distinguish itself. Consequently Gen. Cook proceeded to Leich- 
senring's saloon, and, after elbowing his way through the crowd 
of policemen and deputy sheriffs who lined the sidewalk on the 
outside, found Mr. Leichsenring very much excited. He welcomed 
Cook with open arms and asked him to go to work in the case. 
He offered first a reward of §500 and then of $1,000 for the re- 
covery of the money, and proclaimed in loud tones, as Dave went 

"Til give |1,000 for the capture of the thief and the money^ 
and if Dave Cook finds him, I authorize him to take his pay 
out of the bag." 

The officers scattering in all directions, policemen, deputy 
sheriffs and private detectives, started out to scour the town. 
There was incentive to work for now. A big reward was of- 
fered. Mr. Cook walked quietly back to his office and put sev- 
eral of his best officers to work, including Joe Arnold and Capt. 
C. A. Hawley. He then started out himself. 

He had been on the street less than an hour when he was 
approached by a business man and furnished with a clue which 
very soon led to the arrest of the guilty party. This man told 
the detective a story which interested him very much. It was 
to the effect that a man answering the description of McDonald 
had applied to Lou Rothgerber, the pawnbroker, doing business 
then, as now, on Larimer street, between Sixteenth and Seven- 


teenth, for a peculiar kind of expensive watch, used only by 
horsemen in timing races, and not having anything in his show 
cases meeting the demands of his customer, Rothgerber procured 
one at the jewelry store of Messrs. Hatch, Davidson & Co., 
which he sold to McDonald, together with a heavy chain, for 
$530, receiving his payment in gold. 

Proceeding to Rothgerber's shop Mr. Cook found a police- 
man standing near the entrance, who being questioned stated 
that he had seen McDonald enter. 

''Did he have any money?" 

"Yes, a pile of it." 

"Where did he get it?" 

"He told me that he had just sold a mine for $10,000." 

"Which way did he go?" 

"I don't know." 

The policeman had heard of the Leichsenring robbery, but 
he did not suppose that a man who had been shrewd to get 
away v/ith $5,000, as the Leichsenring robber had been, would 
be fool enough to carry it around so loosely as McDonald had 
been doing, hence did not connect him with the theft. Cook knew 
more than the policeman did, and now felt sure that he was on 
the right track, and that he would get his man. Proceeding into 
Rothgerber's place he succeeded in ascertaining that his man 
had been there, though, for some reason, his actions did not 
arouse any suspicion. He had not only been in and bought a 
costly watch, but had left all his money with the exception of 
a few hundred dollars with Rothgerber for safe keeping. Here 
was a big point gained already. The money was virtually re- 
covered, leaving nothing to do but to secure the thief. Taking 
Rothgerber into custody that the money might be held secure, 
the detective went on his way. It was not difficult to trace Mc- 
Donald. He had spent his money freely, giving it away wher- 
ever fancy dictated, and tossing a $20 gold piece to the police- 
man at Rothgerber's door. 

Leaving Rothgerber's, McDonald had taken a hack a short 
time previous and driven up Holladay street. Gen. Cook then 
prosecuted his search, and among some of the houses of ill- 
repute abounding in that portion of the city, and finding that at 


one of these places McDonald had spent |10 for two bottles of 
wine, was soon in a condition to direct Ofificers Dorsey and 
Phillips to arrest not only McDonald, but another man whom 
he suspected of complicity, named Davis, telling the oflQcers 
that he wanted the two men for larceny, but saying nothing 
about the suspected connection of them with the Leichsenring 
case. The two men were picked up with but little difficulty and 
turned over to Gen. Cook, who, after returning Mr. Leichsenring's 
money to him, made public the fact of the arrest and the secur- 
ing of the treasure. As may be readily supposed there was con- 
siderable rejoicing on the part of Mr. Leichsenring, and the pub- 
lic was not slow to recognize the service which had been ren- 
dered. Commenting upon the case the next morning, the Rocky 
Mountain Neics said: "The rapidity with which the capture fol- 
lowed the act — no matter how it may have been accomplished — 
speaks volumes for the sagacity of the Rocky Mountain Detec- 
tive Association, and they are honorably entitled to a liberal 

Ayer, it should here be stated, was also arrested. The pris- 
oners were taken to the detectives' headquarters, searched, the 
watch and six $20 gold pieces found on McDonald's person and 
two more in the possession of his partner, Rothgerlber, who 
had been detained, was released upon producing the total amount 
deposited by McDonald and proving that he had no knowledge 
of the robbery at the time he sold the watch. McDonald, to- 
gether with Ayer and Davis, were locked up to await examina- 

All these men remained in jail for several weeks. The trial 
resulted in the discharge of Davis and Ayer, whose complicity 
could not be fully established, but McDonald was sent to Cafion 
City to remain until 1887. 

The entire case was concluded, the prisoners jailed and the 
money returned to its owners in two hours after it was placed 
in Cook's hands. With the exception of a few assistants of his 
own association he had no aid, while there was a small army of 
police and sheriffs on the lookout. Comment is unnecessary. 




The years 1876, '77, '78 and '79 were characterized by numer- 
ous stage-coach robberies in Wyoming, Dakota and Montana, per- 
formed by highwaymen, who found refuge in the wild and 
mountainous region of the north. The roads leading to the Black 
hills were the scenes of some of the boldest exploits of the kind 
ever known to criminal history. Many thrilling stories of the 
dare-devil work of these highwaymen are told, and will long be 
remembered as a part of the history of the settlement and devel- 
opment of the region round about Deadwood, Large treasures of 
gold dust taken from the mines were frequently shipped out on 
the stages, and many men of wealth traveled over the line, going 
in for the purpose of starting in business or making mining in-, 
vestments. The stages were stopped by these knights of the 
road, who soon became known as "road agents," at places con- 
venient to the hiding places of the highwaymen, who, safe be- 
hind protecting trees or bluffs, commanded a halt and compelled 
driver and passengers to hold up their hands while they should 
"go through" the coach and the people on board, one or two of 
the agents performing the search while others held their cocked 
guns loaded upon the terrified travelers, who were, as a rule, 
only too willing to escape with their lives and let their valuables 
go to enrich the stores of the brigands. Often, however, the 
travelers "showed fight." and then there was sure to be bloodshed, 


the highwaymen sometimes getting the worst of it, but most fre- 
quently coming out oest. 

When the travel to the hills began to slacken and the coaches 
to be better guarded than they had been in the earlier days of 
the gold excitement, the "agents," not finding their field as profit- 
able as it had been before, started out to look for new fields in 
which to show their prowess, and fresh fields to conquer. They 
turned their attention to the railroads. 

And thus it came about that a member of the Kocky Mount- 
ain Detective Association came to have much to do with them, in 
the story which is about to be related as well as in others of a 
like character. This member of the association is Mr. N. K. Bos- 
well, a resident of Laramie City, Wyo., for several years back, 
who is now warden of the state penitentiary at Laramie City, 
and has frequently been sheriff of Albany county, and who has 
for very many years been considered one of the most efficient of 
Gen. Cook's assistants. 

It was in August, 1878 — August 14 — that a bold attempt 
was made by a party of these road agents to commit one of the 
most fiendish crimes ever perpetrated by outlaws in any land. 
The party consisted of Frank James, one of the James brothers, 
but who went by the name of McKinuey; of Dutch Charley, Frank 
Toll, Sim Wan, Big-Nosed George, Tom Eeed, Sandy Campbell 
and Cully McDonald. Thej^ had come in from the northern 
country to a point on the Union Pacific railroad where it crosses 
the Medicine Bow river, eighty-two miles west of Laramie City, 
in Wyoming. The embankments of the road approaching the 
river are exceedingly steep, about sixty feet high, and are made 
of large, rough stone taken from the cuts in the road. A more 
jagged or more broken place than these embankments it would 
be difQcult to imagine. 

It was to this place that these road agents had come with the 
intention of throwing the west-bound passenger train, on the 14th 
of August, from the track, and of precipitating it down the em- 
bankment, hoping to kill or to badly cripple all the train oper- 
atives and passengers, and thus make easy work of the robbery, 
which was the purpose of the undertaking. To accomplish this 
fask they had cut the telegraph wire at the point and had tied one 


end of a long piece of wire, after loosening the spikes, to a rail^ 
the other end being in the hands of the robbers, who were 
secreted behind a convenient embankment. The plan was to pull 
the rail out just as the locomotive should reach it, and to tumble 
the entire train and its burden of treasure and humanity down 
this fill. The time as well as the place was well chosen, the train 
at that season of the year passing the spot about dusk. 

But for what really seems a special act of Providence, the en- 
tire train would certainlj' have been hurled over this precipice; 
and the wires being cut, the highwaymen would have been far 
away with their booty before the terrible deed could have be- 
come known. The instrument whom fate chose to avert this ter- 
rible catastrophe was an humble member of the race — the boss 
of the repair section of the road — who, finding after quitting his 
day's work that he had left his tools on the Medicine Bow bridge,, 
returned to procure them. Passing along he noticed that the 
spikes were out, and saw the wire attached to the rail. He com- 
prehended the situation in a moment, and his heart must have 
leaped into his mouth. But he was a man out of a thousand in 
coolness and self-possession. Manifesting no sign that he had 
made a discovery, he walked quietly forward, picked up his tools^ 
came back and passed the dead-fall again on his return, still 
.showing no concern whatever by his manner. Had he made the 
least sign, there is no doubt that he would have been killed, and 
that the robbers and murderers would have been enabled to put 
their hellish plot into execution. 

Walking past the trap, he proceeded towards home. He bad 
scarcely gone around the next curve when he heard the train 
humming forward at a fearful rate of speed. He quietly flagged 
it and, of course, when he had told his story, the train was backed. 
The robbers were foiled in their purpose, and one hundred and 
fifty lives, to say nothing of property, were saved. 

The whole country was aroused to vengeance when the full 
scope of the terrible plot was developed and comprehended in its 
hellish entirety. Large rewards were offered for the capture of 
the outlaws, and numbers of good people turned out to hunt down 
the men who had demonstrated that they lacked opportunity 


only to be guilty of a deed which would have caused the entire 
continent to shudder in the contemplation of it. 

But the robbers were not caught then. Indeed, some of them, 
including Frank James, are still at large. The pursuit was kept 
up for several days. Detective Boswell joined the pursuing 
party, but they succeeded only in driving the rascals out of the 
section; not, however, until they had shot down in cold blood 
(wo deputy sheriffs — Vincent and Widowfleld — who were search- 
ing for them in the Elk mountains. After this shooting the rob- 
bers left for the north, maintaining for a short time a rendezvous 
on the Dry Cheyenne river, and evaded all pursuit, which was 
ultimately abandoned. Soon after the band began to operate on 
the stage lines again, and it gradually changed until there were 
but two left who had been in any way identified with the railroad 
raiders, these two being Dutch Charley and Joe Manuse. Frank 
James had left for Montana, and John Erwin had become leader 
of the Dry Cheyenne band. 



Early in December, 1S78, a portion of this band, consisting of 
Erwin, Manuse, Dutch Charley, Frank Ruby, A. C. Douglas, 
Hank Harrington, Frank Howard and Charles Condon (alias 
''The Kid") decided upon another raid upon the railroad, and this 
time selected as the point of their attack the bridge across Rock 
creek, fifty-six miles west of Laramie City. Their programme in- 
cluded the robbery of the train, and also of the hotel kept at the 
point by ex-Gov. Thayer, of Wyoming. 

The plot was quite as devilish as that which had been frus- 
trated at Medicine Bow, but it never came so near bearing fruit as 
the former one did. It was frustrated through the efforts princi- 
pally of two men, named Frank Howard, one of the party, and 
Detective Boswell, who succeeded in taking in the entire band by 
a very bold and shrewdly arranged move upon them. 

Frank Howard was a member of the party as it started from 
the north for the purpose of committing the robberies planned as 
above stated. The party came south to within a few miles of 
their destination and, camping in a spot where they supposed 
themselves safe, decided to send a member of their organization 
to the station to look over the land and make report upon the 


prospects there. The performance of this duty fell to Howard, 
whose conscience appears to have been considerably wrought 
upon, and whose heart failed him in the work in w^hich he was 
about to engage. As a consequence of this state of his mind he 
decided to frustrate the plans of his associates, prevent the raid 
and assist in securing the capture of the band. He laid the entire 
story before Gov. Thayer, who was not slow in communicating it 
to the authorities of Albany county. 

Mr. Bosw-ell was not then acting sheriff of the county, al- 
though he had but recently been elected to that position. The 
sheriff was notified, but did not act. Gov. Thayer then informed 
the officials of the Union Pacific railroad of the intentions of the 
cut-throats, some of them being at Ogden, Utah. They took the 
matter in hand and began to communicate -by telegraph with the 
sheriff of Albany county. But he did not heed their dispatches 
or take any steps to grant their request that the contemplated 
train wrecking be prevented and an effort made to overtake the 
criminals while there was a chance of finding them. 

Two days were spent in this way, and at last the Union Pa- 
cific people telegraphed Mr. Bos well, as a member of the Rocky 
Mountain Detective Association, and requested him to see if 
something could not be done, offering a reward of |250 each for 
the capture of the gang. Mr. Boswell went to see the sheriff, who, 
upon being approached, declared that he had been unable to get 
men to go along with him to make the effort to arrest the 
''agents." Mr. Boswell thereupon undertook the case. In a very 
few minutes he had found ten determined men who were willing 
to go with him, and he announced his readiness to proceed with 
the undertaking. A special train was provided and the men w^ere 
soon on their way, starting after nightfall of Saturday, Decem- 
ber 24. 

The hour of midnight had already passed when Rock Creek 
station was reached, but Boswell decided that if anything was to 
be done it must be promptly done, and, gathering up horses for 
his men, they started out at 3 o'clock on Christmas morning in 
search of their game. It was dark; the ground was covered with 
snow; there was a stiff wind blowing, and the mercury touched 
at 30° below zero. 


Howard bad been faithful to bis trust, and was willing to 
give all tbe information which be possessed as to the w^bereabouts 
of his gang. But they were discovered to have moved since his 
most recent visit to them, and their exact whereabouts were un- 
known to him. Tbe officers chanced to learn that an old ranch- 
man in the neighborhood had supplied tbe robbers with food 
after their change of base. His bouse was found, and he w'as 
dragged out of bed and, by means of threats and tender of re- 
ward, he was prevailed upon to accompany tbe officers to the 
hiding place. 

Tbe locality pointed out was a deep ravine which had been 
cut into a hillside. Indeed, there was a network of gulches and 
ravines, and the robber gang had chosen a place near the center, 
where, under ordinary circumstances, they would never have 
been discovered, and where their biding place would have proved 
an excellent fortress for them if their cunning bad not been met 
by equal shrewdness on tbe part of their pursuers. They were 
hidden away under a protruding cliff and a little niche in the 
ravine formed by a tributary stream, now dry. 

Daylight was just beginning to dawn when the old farmer 
pointed out this place, received his reward and took bis de- 
parture. A moment later a blue streak of smoke shot up 
througli the cold air, and the officers were no longer in doubt 
that they had treed their game. They were also convinced that, 
if they would secure the robbers without a fight, they must act 
with dispatch. 

It required but a few moments for ]Mr. Boswell to dispose 
of his men, who were stationed with guns cocked at the best 
places surrounding tbe biding place. Having left his assistants 
with their guns in their hands and ready to fire at a moment's 
notice, he crawled up behind a large rock standing in front of 
the robbers' den and looking down upon their sleeping place. 

Creeping along with extreme caution he reached the edge 
of the rock and cautiously looked over. There were six of the 
scoundrels in camp, namely, Erwin, Ruby, Condon, Harrington, 
Douglas and Dutch Charley. He saw at a glance that only one 
of them had arisen from his bed. He bad made tbe fire and 
was standing in front of it unarmed, while the others still lay 


wrapped closely in tlieir blanket beds and apparentl}^ enjoying 
their morning naps. Getting his guns ready he shouted to them^ 
clear as a clap of thunder: 

''Hold up your hands!" 

All was virtually over. 

The men awoke with a start, and almost in an instant five 
pairs of hands shot into the air. There was but one exception 
in obeying the command, and that exception was noticed in the 
one from whom it would have naturally been least expected, 
''the Kid" being the only one to fail. Instead of throwing up 
his hands, he began to draw his pistol. 

"Put that gun down, boy," said one of the older members. 
"He will kill you in an instant. Don't you see he's got the drop 

on us? It's Boswell, you d d fool. You can't get away 

with old Boswell." 

The boy dropped the gun. Mr. Boswell's men came up, and 
the capture of all was efl'ected, with the exception of Manuse, 
who had gone out to hunt the horses. He was found and taken 
without any difficulty, and the entire party marched into the 
station and afterwards taken to Laramie City, where they were 
safely lodged in jail and afterwards disposed of. 

It was believed that several of the captives had participated 
in the Medicine Bow affair, and that some of them were par- 
tially responsible for the murder of Widowfield and Vincent. 
Such proved to be the case. Mr. Boswell, as a detective, ad- 
vised a measure which he thought would assist in the discovery 
of the truth in the Manuse was believed to have been 
one of the members of the gang, and the railroad employees were 
given an opportunity to remain alone with him long enough to 
find out. Refusing to reveal anything, he was stretched up with 
an ugly rope around his neck, and held in a choking position 
until he was almost dead. Being let down, he again declined 
to talk. He was strung up again, and this time, beginning to 
fear that his own life would be taken then and there, volunteered 
to make a confession. From this it appeared that he had started 
out with the gang to go to Medicine Bow, and was separated from 
the party and failed to reach the railroad with them. Dutch 
Charley, one of the captives, was, however, with the gang, and 


proved to have been the very man who had first fired upon the 
deputies. As he had told the story to Manuse, these two men 
had gotten upon the trail of the would-be wreckers and were 
pushing them hard. They had followed them into a canon in 
the Elk mountains and came near going upon the scoundrels 
just as they were leaving camp after remaining all night. The 
robbers left hurridly, tossing the burning chunks from their fire 
into a stream of water near the camping place and taking to 
their horses. Being well mounted, the robbers stopped a few 
rods away and concluded to watch the movements of the officers, 
being concealed themselves. The officers coming up to the fire, 
one of them dismounted and stuck his hand into the ashes, ex- 
claiming to his comrade: , 

"We are close upon their heels. It's hot as hell." 

''Yes, you son of a bitch, it's pretty damned hot, and we'll 
just give you a chance to find out how^ hot hell is." 

Thus responded Dutch Charley for his gang, at the same 
time drawing a bead on the dismounted officer and notifying 
him to prepare to die. He attempted to mount, but was shot 
down by Charley as he got up. The other officer attempted to 
escape by flight, but a dozen bullets were sent flying after him 
as his horse ran at full speed down the canon, and he fell dead 
with three holes through his body, the gang then disbanding 
and making their escape. 

This story of Manuse's was sufficient to seal the fate of 
Dutch Charle}'. It was decided that as the killing of the 
deputies had taken place in Carbon county and not in Albany, 
he should be tried there, and he was put on the train and started 
for Kawlins for trial. He never reached his destination. He 
was taken off of the train when near the place, by a party of 
armed and masked vigilantes, and swung up to a telegraph pole 
to expiate this terrible crime, and his body left hanging for 
several davs as meat for the buzzards. 

The other members of the Rock Creek gang were tried. 
Harrington turned state's evidence, but being sent to Fort 
McKinney to identify supposed stage robbers, was shot by a 
man named Smith, who claimed that Harrington had killed his 
brother. Very little could be proved against Douglas, except 


as to his evil intentions. He had been superintendent of the 
Rock Creek stage line, and used his knowledge obtained through 
his position to aid the stage robbers in their work, notifying 
them by letter or telegraph, signed ''Henry Ward Beecher," 
when there was treasure or "good plucking-' on the coaches. 
He had never been in a robbery, so far as could be proven, and 
was given only one year in the penitentiary. Manuse and Ruby 
were sentenced to four years each, and Erwin, the captain, and 
Condon, ''The Kid," were sentenced for life. As for Howard, 
he was made a detective on the railroad, and rendered the com- 
pany valuable service. The robbers have sworn to have venge- 
ance upon him for betraying them and being the primary cause 
of their getting into the hands of the officers instead of procur- 
ing big booty and retiring to the safe recesses of the great North- 
west. ' 




Along in the '60's and eai'lv 'TO's when Colorado was not 
covered with a network of railroad and telegraph lines as it is 
to-day, bankers and others who wished to transmit large sums 
of money from one point to another were often put to sore 
.straits for some means to accomplish their object. The. stage 
coaches which carried mail, passengers and express to nearly 
every part of the state, were too risky. Holdups were of fre- 
quent occurrence, often it was thought through the connivance 
and assistance of the driA'ers themselves. Then, too, they were 
slow and uncertain; a washout or snowslide might detain them 
for days at a time. 

Accordingly it became necessary to secure the services of 
men who were not only honest and trustworthy themselves, but 
who were known to be ''handy with a gun," and who would risk 
their lives if necessary for the protection of the property en- 
trusted to their care. It was because of this that the Rocky 
Mountain Detective Association was often called upon when any 
particularly large sums of money were to be carried from Den- 
ver to mountain towns. One or two cases are called to mind, 
not only by the implicit confidence displayed by the bankers in 
Gen. Cook and his aides, but also by the faithful manner in 
which the.y discharged the responsible duties which they were 
called upon to perform. 

In January, 1870, Kountze Bros., of the Colorado National 
Bank of Denver, who are still the leading bankers of the whole 
western country, were running a branch bank at Central Citj-, 
known as the Rocky Mountain National. A well known mill 


man, whose name has been forgotten, came in one day to 
secure an additional loan of |2,500 on his mill, which was 
already mortgaged for |25,000. The local manager, of course, 
refused to make the loan, and the fellow went out of the bank 
with the threat that he would "fix 'em." And he came pretty 
nearly doing so, too. He rode around to the various camps, 
telling the men that if they had any money in the bank at 
Central they had better get it out in a hurry, as the bank was 
practically ';busted." "Why," he said, "I couldn't get $2,500 on 
my mill from them." As his property was popularly supposed 
to be worth |30,000 or more, this of course frightened hundreds 
of timid depositors, and a run on the bank was begun at once. 

The local manager hurriedly dispatched a messenger to Den- 
er for aid. Mr. Charles Kountze, one of the firm, hastily counted 
out 150,000, and placing it in a grip, sent for Gen. Cook to ac- 
company him to Central. Placing the grip under the buggy 
seatj and a couple of good guns where they could be easily got 
at, Cook and Kountze drove out of Denver at 11 o'clock at night, 
and arrived in Central the next morning after a hard drive. A 
wild mob surged around the bank as soon as the doors were 
opened, and though the tellers were paying off depositors as 
rapidly as possible, Kountze feared that there might be trouble, 
and employed Gen. Cook to remain in the bank as a guard that 
day. At the close of banking hours they hitched up their rig 
and drove back to Denver, reaching the city about 1 o'clock 
that nigjit. As they crossed the Platte bridge, Kountze said 
to Cook: "Dave, you'll have to go right back again to-night." 

Although fatigued with two long drives over rough mount- 
ain roads and nearly sick from cold and loss of sleep. Gen. Cook 
did not hesitate, but securing a fresh team, started back once 
more, this time accompanied by an employe of the bank named 
Potter, who carried the grip containing |75,000. They reached 
Central in good time, and by 2 o'clock the next afternoon con- 
fidence in the bank's stability was again restored, and the run 
was over. Gen. Cook received not only a substantial pecuniary 
reward for his three days' and two nights' hard work, but the 
lasting gratitude of the bank officials as well. 

During the exciting times in Georgetown in May, 1875, 


which grew out of the Dives-Pelican mining suits, and culmi- 
nated in the murder of Snyder, the superintendent of the Pelican 
mine, by Jack Bishoi), the Dives mine superintendent, the Peli- 
can people employed Gen. Cook, C. B. Hoyt, the present warden 
of the State Eeformatory at BUena Vista; W. F. Smith and 
other members of the association as a body guard for their legal 
counsel, Senator Henry M. Teller and ex-Congressman James 
H. Belford, w^ho flatly refused to go to Georgetown unless ac- 
companied by an armed guard to protect them from the excited 

Learning that Gen. Cook was going to Georgetown, Presi- 
dent Moftat asked him to carry |75,000 in currency to their 
branch bank at that place, as he feared that a run might be 
started on the bank during the excitement. Gen. Cook agreed 
to this, and he and J. L. McNeal, an employ^ of the. bank, put- 
the money in a buggy and drove up there one night, reaching 
Georgetown in safety. 

During the trial, one of the opposing counsel took occasion 
to make a sarcastic reference to the ''armed body guard of man- 
killers" that the Denver lawyers had brought with them, and 
he and the lawless element that then dominated Georgetown got 
the worst roasting from Congressman Belford that they had 
ever heard in their lives. The Pelican people won their suit, 
and the trouble finally quieted down, although the murderer, 
Bishop, was never apprehended. 

In the latter part of June, 1878, a company that was work- 
ing the Goneabroad and Small Hopes mining claims at Lead- 
ville under lease and bond, made an exceedingly rich strike, 
the first made in the camp. They made the strike only a week 
before the expiration of their lease, and unless they could raise 
the $20,000 on the date when their lease and option expired, the 
valuable property, worth at least $300,000, would pass into the 
hands of the original owners. The company sent a man to 
Denver to make arrangements to borrow the needed sum, in 
which he was successful, returning to Leadville with a certified 
check on the Colorado National Bank for |20,000. To their sur- 
prise, the owners refused to accept the certified check, and an- 
nounced that nothing but the money would do. By this plan 


they expected that they would obtain possession of the mine, 
as the time had so nearly expired that they thought it would 
be impossible to get the money there in time. Parker, one of 
the lessees, hastened back to Denver to secure the currency, if 
possible. President Konntze of the bank did not know Parker, 
but told him if he could get Dave Cook to carry the money 
through he would be willing to trust him with it. Otherwise 
he did not care to take the risk, Parker hunted up Gen. Cook, 
and arrangements were made to start at once. This was the 
4th of July and the lease expired on the 5th — the distance to 
be traveled was 145 miles over rough mountain roads — a seem- 
ingly impossible feat. Gen. Cook hunted up Frank Smith, and 
just about noon they, with Parker, in a light rig, started on 
their long drive. They drove rapidly all afternoon, all that 
night and until noon the next day, when they reached Fairplay, 
stopping only long enough to change horses. Almost worn out 
with the long ride and loss of sleep it appeared that they could 
not possibly reach Leadville before the bank closed, and if they 
could not, all was lost. Parker gave up in despair. Gen. Cook, 
however, resourceful as usual, hunted up Sheriff John Ifinger, 
and found out from him that it was possible they might get 
through in time bj' taking a short cut on horseback across the 
Mesquite range through Mosquito pass. 

Gen. Cook gave him $50 to guide them, and offered to pay 
for all horses killed in making the attempt. The part}^ secured 
good saddle horses and left Fairplay at twenty-eight minutes 
after 1 o'clock. Spurring their horses across the more level 
parts of the trail, dismounting and leading them up steep, 
slippery paths, and around walls of rock overhanging caiions 
hundreds of feet deep, where the slightest misstep would have 
proved fatal, they at length crossed the pass, and just three 
minutes before 3 o'clock, when they supposed the bank would 
close, rode up to that institution with the money. 

The chagrin of the owners who had felt so certain of regain- 
ing possession of the property was only equaled by the joy of 
the lessees. They overwhelmed Cook and Smith with atten- 
tions, and during their stay in Leadville nothing in the camp 


was too good for them, and they were given a handsome re- 
ward besides. 

These are only a few of the many eases in which the Rocky 
Mountain Detective Association has been called upon to per- 
form difficult and seemingly impossible tasks, and to its credit 
be it said, it has never yet been "found wanting," but has ever 
performed every duty. 




There has been but one execution of a criminal in Denver to 
the present time since the 24th day of January, 1873. On that 
day Theodore Meyers gave up his life on the gallows in expia- 
tion of the crime he had committed on the night of the 8th of 
August, 1871, in the murder of George Bonacina, a ranchman 
living on the Platte, twelve miles above Denver, and four miles 
beyond Littleton. 

Meyers was arrested not alone for the murder of Bonacina, 
but also for an attempt to murder his sister, a Mrs. Belle New- 
ton, who lived with her brother on the ranch, Mrs. Newton 
was a woman at that time about thirty years of age, and was 
of prepossessing personal appearance. She was possessed of 
fascinating manners, and had the reputation in the neighbor- 
hood in which she resided of being quite too ''exclusive" to 
please the other residents. She had resided in Omaha previous 
to 1869, when she caiie to Cheyenne, whence she removed to 
Denver in 1870. Soon after coming to Denver, Mrs. Newton 
established herself in the millinery business, and while so en- 
gaged she became engaged to and married a Mr. Benjamin 
Friedenthal, removing with him soon after their marriage to 
the ranch already described on the Platte, where they lived for 
a few months. But their married life was not a happy one, and 
they separated. Mrs. Newton's brother had joined her on the 


farm, and they continued to reside there after Friedenthal had 
taken his departure. 

To properly understand the interest which was taken in the 
tragedy at the ranch it should be known that rumor had wagged 
a busy tongue in the neighborhood in which Mrs. Xewton re- 
sided. It was alleged that Bonacina was not the brother of 
the woman, but Ji clandestine lover, and some asserted that his 
intimacy with Mrs, Friedenthal, or Mrs. Newton, had been the 
cause of the separation between her and her husband. One sup- 
position, when the story of the murder was first told, was that 
Friedenthal had been in some way responsible for the crime. 
Another theory was that the murderer had sought to establish 
intimate relations with the woman himself, and that Bonacina 
had stepped in the way of his desires. These were some of the 
surmises which filled the air, and which rapidly grew into re- 
ports which professed to be accurate. 

Mrs. Newton brought the first account of the tragedy into 
Denver herself. She arrived in the city about 11 o'clock on 
Friday, the 11th of August, 1871, and was conveyed to the Tre- 
mont house, standing then as now on Twelfth street, at the in- 
tersection of Blake. 

A phj'sician was at first sent for. He dressed the ugly 
wounds which the poor woman bore. As many as seven buck- 
shot were ascertained to have been planted squarely in her 
breast, near the heart, four of them passing entirely through the 
body and the others lodging under the skin in the back. None 
of the balls had touched the heart, but it hardly seemed possible 
that so many pieces of lead should have plowed their way 
through a human body Avithout producing a fatal result. Her 
physician told her that she did not have one chance in a hun- 
dred. But Mrs. Newton was a woman of nerve, and she replied 
that whether she lived or not she wanted the murderer of her 
brother brought to justice. 

Sending for Gen. Cook, who was then sheriff of Arapahoe 
countv, she told him the storv of the shooting so far as she was 
able. She lay on a bed in her room as she related the circum- 
stances. Her face was as white as death from loss of blood, 
and her voice sank to a mere whisper as she attempted to make 


the patient officer understand sufficiently well to pursue the 
murderer with some certainty of capturing him. Her talk was 
a series of moans and groans, interspersed with words painfully 
drawn out. 

She had no doubt, she said, that the man whose name is 
given as Me3'ers had done the shooting, but she did not know 
his name, describing him as "a Dutchman, whose first name 
was Theodore." Relating the circumstances of the affair, and 
those leading up to it, she said that this man had come to her 
and her brother some few weeks before the killing to obtaib 
work, and had been employed as a hand on the farm. He had 
previously been engaged by a man named Lewis, who resided 
in the neighborhood, but had been discharged. Bonacina had 
stacked his grain some distance from the house. Meyers rep- 
resented to him that while working for Lewis he had heard 
threats made to burn it, and so wrought upon the feelings of 
his employers that they procured guns and ammunition, and 
]3onacina and Meyers began sleeping at night at the grain 
stacks, some fifty yards from the house, for the purpose of pro- 
tecting the grain from the attacks of incendiaries. They had 
been thus engaged for about two weeks, when the murder and 
attempted murder occurred. 

The two men went to their out-door beds as usual on the 
fatal Thursday night, leaing Mrs. Newton alone in the house, 
where she retired soon after the men had taken their departure. 
She was sleeping souudl}'^ when she was awakened by the sound 
. of a pistol, which was soon followed by a second report. The 
reports appeared to be in the direction of the grain stacks, and 
Mrs. Newton rushed to the window, thinking that some one 
had come to burn the grain, and that her brother and the 
German had fired upon the intruder. She had been out of bed 
but a second when she heard some one evidently approaching 
the house from the direction of the grain, and calling her loudly 
by her first name, "Belle! Belle! Belle!'' three times in succes- 

Mrs. Newton was clad in the thinnest kind of night clothes, 
wearing nothing but a light undergarment. She was so thor- 
oughly' excited, however, at the noise of the pistol reports, and 


at the calling out of her own name, that she rushed to the door 
and opened it. As she swung it back, the German employǤ 
stepped up, with a shotgun in his hand, and appeared to be 
considerably excited, replying to her hurried inquiry: "They're 
here! They're around!" 

"Who's here?" 

"The grain burners; don't you know!" 

"But where is my brother — where is George?" 

"Oh," replied the man, "he is pursuing one of them — he's 
down there." 

The moon was just about its first quarter and was sinking 
over behind the adjacent mountains, but still gave out sufficient 
light to afford an indistinct view of surrounding objects. It 
was a mellow, warm evening, and a thousand flies, Dats and 
whippoorwills buzzed and sang around. Long shadows fell upon 
the ground and seemed in their great length and intensity to 
add a hundred-fold to the already lonely and weird view sur- 
rounding. It was a still, dead scene that presented itself as 
Mrs. Newton, clad in her ghost-like garb of white, stepped out 
of lier door with her hand raised over her eyes to peer along the 
lines of the shadows down to where her brother was. She had 
scarcely turned her back when — bang! crash I — thundering came 
the report of a gun in her immediate proximity, and she felt the 
hot leaden messengers tearing through her vitals. 

The entire load of buckshot from one barrel of the gun had 
been emptied into her breast. 

"My God, what — what is this? I am shot! You have mur- 
dered me. You liave murdered George and now you have mur- 
dered me. You have shot me to the heart. What does it 

The badly wounded woman did not fall, but staggered to 
the door and continued to support herself and got into the 
liouse. Meyers cried out as she disappeared: 

"They have shot you, too; I will find them," and started off 
around the house. Seeing that his second victim still lived, he 
concluded to make sure of her. and before she had entirely dis- 
appeared he raised the gun in the attempt to fire another shot. 
The weapon missed fire, and a second later the door was closed 


upon him, and the wounded woman was alone with her agony 
and her blood. 

As she staggered into the house she took her right hand 
from her breast, where it had served to stanch the flow of blood, 
and caught at the door facing. For long years afterward, and 
probably such is still the case, the imprints of Mrs. Newton's 
hands, as she clenched the wood with the grip of death, re- 
mained to mark the scene of the tragedy. Wash and scrub as 
much as one might, the stain refused to come out. 

A lone, long night it was that followed — full of intense 
bodily suffering, of great mental anxiety for her own welfare, 
full of distress for her brother, and with death staring her, a 
lone woman, square in the face. Fearful that a vital spot had 
been touched by the bullets, and considering it probable that 
lier would-be murderer would return at any time, she must have 
been filled with fear and anxiety. She chanced to pass a large 
mirror in the room as she went in, and then for the first time 
fully appreciated the extent of her wound. Her one garment 
was even then a mass of blood. The life fluid was running out 
from the bullet holes in spurts. Little wonder that the poor 
woman at first became frightened and lay down upon her bed 
undetermined what to do. 

"But I will not be a coward," she at last said to herself. "I 
will save myself if I can. I am dying. I must not die. If I die 
no one will know who has committed this horrible deed. I will 
at least live long enough to see that this murderer is brought 
to justice."' 

She had strength left to get up and procure towels to wrap 
herself and stop the blood flow and to get a bottle of liquor 
which she knew to be in the house, and finding that she did not 
bleed so freely when standing or sitting as when lying, she 
mustered all her strength and remained up the greater part of 
the night, thinking over the thousand horrible things that would 
naturally troop through the mind of any one situated as she 
was, even the strongest nerved of the stouter sex. 

Added to her other horrors was the knowledge that there 
was no one nearer than a mile from her, except, perhaps, the 
man who had shot her, and his proximity was her greatest 


dread. She had already convinced herself that her brother had 
been killed; otherwise he would have come to her assistance. 
''And all Tvas silent then, and I was alone through the whole 
wretched night," she said to Gen. Cook. But w^e shall not at- 
tempt to picture the agonies of those few lonely, dark hours. 
The reader may well imagine the experience of the woman, and 
if he can not, no description would prove adequate. 

At last the glad signs of day began to make their appearance. 
The gray dawn first peered in through the windows and cracks, 
and soon afterwards the long, slanting rays of the big summer 
sun were coursing their way across the floor of the dreary, 
bloody room, bringing with them messages of faint hope to the 
sufferer. How she must have prayed for the sight of a friendlj' 
face! By and by there came a rumbling sound as of an ap- 
proaching vehicle. She went to the door. The road was some 
distance from the house, but there was a wagon passing by. 
Mrs. Newton cried out to the driver and waved her bloody hands 
in the air to him. Again and again she shouted at the top of 
her voice. But to no purpose. 

She saw another hope pass away as the driver went on 
without turning his head, and gradually disappeared around a 
turn in the road, to be seen no more. 

Once out of the house the wounded woman determined to 
obtain assistance of some sort. Her nearest neighbor was a 
Mr, Lyman, living dow^n the road almost a mile distant. Thither- 
ward Mrs. Newton bent her footsteps, dragging herself along 
with an energy and courage that would have done credit to a 
strong man. 

At last this haven was reached, and, after taking a rest, 
Mrs. Newton's desire to be brought to Denver where she could 
have medical assistance and see the officers was granted. She 
was accordingly brought into town, and with her arrival we are 
brought back to the beginning of the narrative. 

This is the story to which Gen. Cook had listened. It had 
been told with great incoherence, but he had kept the threads 
of it well together, and was relieved when the tragic tale had 
been concluded. Although the description of the murderer, who 
Cook believed to be the German farm hand, was not complete, 



he had hope of finding further evidence at the ranch, and started 
out with the promise to the woman that he would overtalie the 
murderer of her brother and her own would-be slayer. And he 
kept the promise to the letter. 



Chief Cook decided immediately upon the apprehension of 
the murderer. AccordinglV, immediateh' after hearing the 
wounded woman's story, he started out to the ranch on the 
Platte, accompanied b}" Frank Smith. The only clue the officers 
had as to the identity of the murderer was his first name, which 
the woman had given them. After a thorough search about the 
house, the floor of which was covered with blood, the officers 
found the German's naturalization papers, and then for the first 
time learned his full name, which was Theodore Meyers. Frona 
these papers they learned further that he had been naturalized 
at Pueblo, Judge Bradford having signed the papers. From 
this fact they concluded that he must have resided at Pueblo 
for some time, and that he must have fnends there, and hence 
decided that to be the point towards which he most probably 
would turn his face in his flight. 

The oflicers were astonished to find that of all the nearest 
neighbors, onh' Lyman's family' had the slightest cognizance of 
the dreadful tragedy. The people of the vicinity, some of whom 
were harvesting close by, when informed through the officers of 
what had happened, evinced their astonishment in utter speech- 

The officers instituted a diligent search of the entire prem- 
ises. The bed in ]Mrs. Newton's room had absorbed pools of 
blood, and upon the door panels, staring at them in vivid out- 
lines, were the impressions in blood of the woman's clutching 
hand. Near the wheat stack, where Bonacina and Meyers had 
lain, they found a collection of robes, and close by, under some 


sheaves of oats, and snugly wrapped in robes, was the body of 
the murdered man. From the position and nature of things, 
and from the attending circumstances, it was concluded that 
Meyers must have sat upright in bed, reached forward and 
placed the muzzle of his piece against Bonacina's temple, and 
finished his victim while he lay asleep. The body was elsewhere 
perforated by two bullets. 

It was also discovered that a horse was missing from the 
pasture, and that a saddle and bridle were gone. Hence it was 
concluded that Meyers, who was nowhere to be found, had stolen 
these articles and disappeared on horseback. 

With this theory fixed in his mind. Gen. Cook returned to 
Denver, and prepared to take the coach out that evening in pur- 
suit of his man — for, be it known, the Rio Grande railroad was 
in those days a railroad on paper only, and travel to the south- 
ward was done either in private conveyances or on the stage 

Gen. Cook went out alone, having confidence in his ability 
to cope with Meyers, should he overtake him, notwithstanding 
that individual was a young man weighing two hundred pounds, 
and a desperado, as had been shown by his recent acts. He, of 
course, went well armed, carrying a pair of revolvers and a der- 
ringer with him, for he felt that the chances were that the man 
would make a desperate fight if he should not succeed in get- 
ting the drop on him in making the arrest. He argued that the 
man who would shoot down a defenseless man and woman, as 
Meyers had done, must expect to be pursued; that he must ex- 
pect to be severely dealt with if caught, and that for these rea- 
sons he would resist to the last if come up with by an officer. 

The trip south was almost devoid of incident. The fugitive 
had a day's start of the officer, but the latter had not been long 
on the road before he began to pick up information as to the 
course the man had taken. Several persons had seen him riding 
along, and readily recognized him from the description which 
Cook furnished. 

The tragedy had occurred on Thursday night, Meyers leav- 
ing on Friday morning and Gen. Cook following Saturday morn- 
ing. Saturday night about 11 o'clock Cook ended his pursuit, 


and had the satisfaction of having his theory as to the course 
the murderer had taken verified bv suddenly overtaking him at 
a place called Woodbury's, twenty-five miles north of Pueblo, 
where the fellow was waiting to take the same coach that Cook 
came in on, in pursuance of his journey. The capture was an 
easy one, although Cook had prepared for a death struggle, 
which might have ensued if Meyers had not been ''caught nap- 
ping." Previous to leaving he had telegraphed to parties at 
Colorado City and Pueblo to be on the alert for the escaping 
murderer. It was known that Meyers had chosen that route. 
The officer in question felt virtually assured of being able to 
overtake his man. Meyers had stopped at Woodbury's, and was 
awaiting the arrival of the coach from Denver. He was dis- 
covered to be partially intoxicated. News of the murder had 
preceded him; he was immediately suspected; and when he re- 
tired, to sleep until the arrival of the coach, the caps were re- 
moved from his shotgun and he was dispossessed of his pistol. 
The coach brought the sheriff, and the murderer was awakened 
by the officer who was standing over him with a revolver, and 
to find himself a prisoner, instead of a passenger to Pueblo. 

The accommodations at Woodbury's were insufficient, and 
there was also some fear that if the prisoner should be allow^ed 
to remain there he might be lynched, as the story of his crime 
had gotten out. Hence Cook decided to go on to Pueblo and 
to take his prisoner with him, with the intention of starting 
on his return the next morning. Putting this plan into execu- 
tion, Meyers was tied with ropes and lifted into the coach, the 
officer carrying a lighted candle that he might keep a close 
watch upon his prisoner. They had as fellow travelers a lady 
and a gentleman, and it may be easily imagined that the woman 
did not enjoy the prospect of her ride. Her fears were, how- 
ever, assuaged by the assurance of Gen. Cook that there was 
no danger, an assurance to which his firm bearing added great 
weight with her. 

Once in the coach, but not before, Meyers demanded to know 
why he had been arrested. When told of the charge that was 
made against him he at first denied it. but asked where Cook 
had gotten the information. 


'Trom the woman you tried to kill at the time you killed 

"The woman! Ain't she dead?" 

"No, sir." 

''Well, it's not my fault if she isn't. She would have been, 
though, if my jjlans had not miscarried." 

"What were your plans?" 

"Why, to fire both barrels of the 'shotgun into her at once. 
That would have stopped her blabbing tongue. But one of 
them missed fire." 

After this, Meyers, without displaying the least compunc- 
tion of conscience, told the entire story of the murder, claiming 
that he And Bonacina had quarreled, and that after killing the 
man he had been so excited that he did not know what he was 
doing, and hence had made an effort to finish Mrs. Newton as 

It was after daylight when Pueblo was reached, and the 
return stage was soon ready to start for Denver. Cook had 
already been two nights without rest, devoting the first to 
searching for clues and the second to the journey and the ar- 
rest of Meyers. He was already pretty well worn out, but he 
did not have time to rest. One more day and night of hard 
work was before him. There was but one additional passenger 
on the coach, Capt. H. L. Thayer. During the night. Cook rode 
with his derringer in his hand and sat on his other pistols that 
he might have them ready for use at a moment's notice. He 
had been so long without sleep that he feared that he might 
drop into a nap at any time, when he could expect nothing from 
his prisoner less than an effort to get away and a probable 
attack upon himself. But the journey was devoid of more than 
ordinary interest, and Meyers was early Monday morning locked 
up in the Arapahoe county jail to await his trial. The capture 
was speedily and well executed, for which Gen. Cook was gen- 
erally complimented. 



Mrs. Newton rapidly recovered from her wounds, much to 
the astonishment of her physicians and of herself, and by the 
time that the trial of Meyers for the murder of her brother came 
on she was entirely well. Meyers was indicted for murder by 
the grand jury which sat subsequent to his arrest, and on the 
5th, ath and 7th of February, 1872, he stood his first trial. The 
jury were out about three hours, when they returned a verdict 
that the prisoner was guilty of murder and that the killing was 
premeditated. A motion was at once made for a new trial, and 
it was granted by Judge Wells, before whom he had been tried. 
The second trial was set for the April term, 1872, but a con- 
tinuance was granted on account of the absence of important 
witnesses. The case came up for second trial on Monday, Oc- 
tober 21, 1872, and on Wednesday, October 23, a verdict of mur- 
der in the first degree was returned. In all respects the trial 
was a fair one and it was conducted with marked ability on 
both sides. 

On the 30th of December, 1872, Meyers was brought into 
court, before Judge Wells, for sentence. When asked by the 
court whether he had anything to say why sentence of death 
should not be passed upon him, he replied that he had not, and 
the court then delivered the sentence, which was that Meyers 
should be hanged on the 24th day of January succeeding. The 
scene in the court room when the sentence was pronounced was 
very affecting, the judge and members of the bar who were 
present betraying visible signs of agitation. But Meyers pre- 
served the same air of indifference which had been so frequently 
remarked during the progress of his two trials. Although his 


appearance was haggard, and his pale countenance and emaciated 
frame showed signs of internal suffering, yet he kept up a brave 
front and appeared to be undaunted by the terrible doom which 
stared him in the face. 

Every effort was made by the counsel and friends of the 
man, of whom, considering the heinous nature of his crime, he 
developed a surprising number, to obtain a writ of error from 
the supreme court, but all failed; and then the friends turned 
their attention to the territorial executive. Gov. McCook was 
at that time governor of Colorado, but was absent, and Gen. 
Frank Hall, being territorial secretary, was acting as governor. 
Upon him, therefore, devolved the responsibility of deciding upon 
the question of immediate death or prolonged life for Theodore 
Meyers. The most touching overtures were made to him, but 
he remained as firm as a granite wall, saying that the courts 
had passed upon the matter, and that he could not interpose 
except upon the recommendation of Judge Wells, who refused 
to take any action in the matter. 

Thus th« awful day approached, and the murderer's fate 
drew nearer and nearer to him. At last the day before that 
set for the execution arrived. Meyers proved equal to every 
emergency. During his stay in jail he maintained a stolid in-' 
difference as to his fate. He chatted pleasantly with all who 
came to visit him in his unfortunate condition, and rested soundly 
and ate his meals regularly. Beyond this he amused himself as 
best he could reading and smoking. Throughout the day preced- 
ing the hanging he did not change in his demeanor. No burden 
appeared to rest upon his soul. He passively regretted the deed, 
when reminded of its great enormity, but it seemed to him that 
it would be the passport to a better world, which he expected 
soon to reach. He calmly smoked a cigar and read his German 
prayer book. Now and then he would speak to a few persons 
who were allowed to approach his cell. He conversed freely on 
the circumstances attending the crime, and then referring to the 
close approach of death, said: "I have made my peace with 
ray Maker, and I die happy in the Catholic faith, feeling that I 
will soon be in heaven." Being questioned as to whether he did 
not feel the pangs of remorse, he said: ''Oh, yes, a little; but 


then there is no use crying over spilt milk — the thing is to 
be, and it can't be helped. I've made up my mind to it, and am 
satisfied."' To a visitor who was moved to tears, he said: "Don't 
feel bad about it, it can not be helped; I have no fear of the 
gallows; there is a better world ahead, and I think I'll reach 
it." To Sheriff Cook he said: "I will go to the gallows as you 
want me to; there's no use, though, getting a wagon, for I 
would just as leave walk as ride." 

During the evening previous to the execution, Meyers made 
a confession to Gen. Cook which supplied many details there- 
tofore lacking to make the story complete. He stated that he 
had been born in Baden, Germany, in 1845; that he had come 
to America with his mother and two sisters in 1859; going to 
the war in 1861, and arriving in Pueblo, Colo., in 1867. As to 
the events which occurred on the night of the murder and those 
preceding and following, he said: 

''On Sunday, the 6th of August, Bonacina went to Denver 
after Mrs. Newton, and she came back that evening. As he 
went to town he asked me to lend him |;25, telling me he would 
return it when he returned. I loaned him the |25. When he 
asked me for the money he inquired if I had plenty of ammuni- 
tion for the shotgun, rifle and revolver. I told him I had some 
ammunition, and to suit himself about getting more. He brought 
back some caps, and, I think, powder. Before he went to town 
he loaded his rifle with some buckshot I had, and, I think, his 
revolver, also, with the same. He said he expected the neigh- 
bors would come around some night and burn the stacks, and 

he would shoot the first s of a b that came near there 

after dark. When Mrs. Newton came back from Denver, she 
told Bonacina that she would give a suit of clothes worth |100 
to the one w^ho would kill the first man who came and attempted 
to bum the grain. She asked Bonacina at the same time if he 
knew where her derringer was, and he said it was in the trunk. 
I did not like to stav there anv longer, as he was a man who 
swore, and I did not like his ways. A couple of days before 
this we had a quarrel over his treatment of horses, while load- 
ing grain, but no blows were passed. Between 8 and 9 o'clock on 
Thursday night, August 10, Bonacina told me to go out to the 


stacks, or the men might come while we were there in the house. 
We quit playing cards, and I went out there. In about fifteen 
minutes he came out to where I was. We made our beds under 
the stacks then, and I asked him for the 125 I had let him 
have on the preceding Sunday; also told him I did not want 
to work for him any longer. He asked my reasons for leaving, 
but I told him I did not want to tell him. He then told me 
he didn't want me to leave until the grain was threshed and 
other work done. About an hour after we went to the stacks 
I told him again I wanted the money, as I desired to leave the 

next day. Bonacina said: 'You d d lousy s or a b -, 

I w^on't pay it, but I'll pay you now.' At the same time he 
reached over towards his weapon, the rifle lying by his side and 
his revolver under his head. I then drew my pistol, which was 
lying by my side loose, and shot him, or shot at him, and he 
fell back saying something I could not understand. I then shot 
at him again with my revolver; did not shoot the shotgun, which 
was under my head. Bonacina was about six feet from me 
when I shot. I am not positive where either bullet hit him. I 
was excited, and shot the second time because I thought he was 
not dead. I did not know w^hat I was doing. 

''I took my shotgun and went to the house, and called Mrs. 
Newton by the name of Belle. I went there with the determina- 
tion of killing her, as I was afraid she would give the alarm, 
and cause mj^ capture before I could get away. She was at 
the window^ at first, and upon my calling came outside the door. 
I told her, 'they were around,' meaning the men who had at- 
tempted to burn the stack. She asked: 'Where are they?' I 
said: 'They are around, and George (Bonacina) is running after 
them.' My shotgun was cocked and at a make-ready position. 
I was about fifteen feet from her at the time. I pulled the 
trigger and fired, and she said 'Oh!' and went back into the 
house. I then went to the barn, back of the house, and remained 
there about ten minutes, doing nothing, but very much fright- 
ened. Afterwards T walked back to the front window of the 
house, and heard Mrs. Newton walking inside. I could see her 
moving in there as there was a light in the room. Then I went 
back to the stack and rolled Bonacina up in the buffalo robes 


and threw his rifle into the straw. I think the rifle was full 
cocked, but can not positively state. I then moved my bed to 
a diagonal position against his, and took sheaves of oats and 
covered his body. Then 1 went to bed and slept only a little 
that night. After daybreak I heard what I thought was a 
wagon passing, and at the same time I saw Mrs. Newton come 
out of the house. She walked to the bridge before she cried 
to the man to stop. He did not stop. She kept on, and looked 
towards the stack, and went towards Lyman's. When she got 
away I went down into the brush and went up to the top of 
the hill. I did not know what I was doing. I remained there 
a short time, Avhen I saw Lyman coming towards the place with 
a span of horses and no wagon. He went first into the barn, 
and then to the stacks, hitched up Mrs. Newton's wagon and 
drove back home. I then went back to Mrs. Newton's house, 
got something to eat, and took a bottle of whisky. Then I went 
down into a field the other side of Lyman's to get a horse, and 
got the horse, took him to the house, saddled him and started 
south. This was about 9 o'clock. I had a shotgun, a revolver, 
some whisky and a loaf of bread. I struck the road and went 
over the Divide. 

"I was so excited I did not know what I was doing. I 
thought at first I would go to Canon City and then into the 
mountains. On second thought I concluded to go to Pueblo. 
Had no thought of being captured, but if anybody had attempted 
to take me prisoner I should have fought. I traveled the day 
I left the ranch to a point about two miles south of Sloan's mill; 
the next day I continued the journey and got to Woodbury's, 
when I was captured that night. While at the foot of the Divide 
I sold the horse to Mr. Wilson for |75, and continued to Wood- 
bury's afoot. If 1 had retained my senses and not drunk any 
liquor, I wouldn't have been captured so easily." 

This confession of the condemned man was delivered in a 
straightforward and plain manner. During its delivery Meyers 
lighted fresh cigars occasionally and assumed a pleasing ex- 
pression, now and then interlarding the recital with quiet and 
dry jokes. Soon afterwards Judge Harrison, of his counsel, was 
admitted, and the prisoner gave way, the only time at which 


he manifested any great concern. This interview was truly af- 
fecting, and was the occasion of a copious shedding of tears. 
Meyers spoke feelingly, even path etically, of his aged mother 
and his noble sisters, and handed the judge a lock of hair which 
he desired should be enclosed to them, accompanying a message 
of love to all. 

The next morning, a little before the fatal hour, Sheriff 
Cook, accompanied by the officers under him, and one or two 
friends, stepped to the door of the prisoner's cell. He arose 
from his mattress, extended his hand, and assured him that he 
felt comfortable and resigned. 

Sheriff Cook then spoke as follows: 

"Mr. Meyers, by the law, the painful duty of carrying into 
execution the sentence of the court passed upon you is imposed 
upon me. That sentence is in the following document, which 
I will read." 

The sheriff then read the death warrant to the doomed man. 

The procession started from the jail, then on Larimer street 
near the Cherry creek bridge, at precisely 2 o'clock. The pris- 
oner, before leaving the inside, bade the remaining inmates an 
affectionate and touching farewell, and then stepped firmly upon 
the sidewalk, leaving tearful eyes and aching hearts behind. He 
was dressed in a suit of black, given him by a philanthropic 
citizen, and his feet free from the chafing shackles. He entered 
a carriage — Sheriff Cook and Deputy Smith in advance, then 
the prisoner, and in the rear the two clergymen, Fathers Rob- 
inson and Borg. The carriage moved toward the scaffold, near 
the mouth of Cherry creek, on the West Side, followed by the 
Denver Scouts on foot. In the neighborhood there was, of 
course, considerable excitement. Men and boys, and even 
women, lined the sidewalks and clambered to observation points. 
The upper windows and roofs of many of the buildings were 
crowded with spectators. 

The carriage containing the prisoner, together with the 
officers and ministers, was driven to the foot of the scaffold. The 
prisoner walked firmly on to the platform, placed himself be- 
neath the rope, and facing to the east, the officers and ministers 
standing around him. One of the fathers offered up a fervent 


prayer, though in a voice scarcely audible to the crowd, in which 
he implored God to give the dying man strength to pass through 
the trying ordeal, and to receive his soul as it escaped into the 
shadow of death. 

Meyers met his doom with an exhibition of nerve the most 
extraordinary. Once only, and then for but a moment, did he 
change countenance. The place had no terrors for him. Upon 
being asked b^' the sheriff if he desired to say anything, he re- 
plied, seeming to address the crowd: 

"Farewell, men! I'm going to another world!" 

The noose had been adjusted. The black cap was pulled 
down over his eyes. Almost before any of the lookers-on were 
aware of it the fatal spring had been touched, and the body of 
Meyers was dangling in the air, and human justice, so far as 
he was concerned, was satisfied. The body had dropped about 
four feet. There were a few convulsive twitches, the body spun 
around five or six times, and all was still. The trap was sprung 
at twenty minutes past 2 o'clock. Four minutes after the pulse 
stood at 144; five minutes after it had been reduced to 72, and 
in six minutes life was extinct, as pronounced by Drs. Manx 
and Heimbarger. The body was allowed to hang thirty minutes, 
and was then taken down and placed in the coffin, and taken 
to the city cemetery for interment, alongside of Duggan, Frank- 
lin and Griswold. 

Mrs. Newton soon afterwards left Denver completely re- 
stored to health. It was announced at the time of her leaving 
that she had been discovered to be one of the heirs to the 
Stewart estate in England, and that she had inherited a fortune 
of £60,000 sterling. The trial exculpated her husband, Mr. 
Freidenthal, from all blame, and also went far towards estab- 
lishing the fact that Bonacina was the woman's brother, as wa» 




Altlioiigh as a rule Gen. Cook's experience with criminals 
has been with the class who kill, he has also had a great deal 
to do with burglars and thieves, and others of the less demon- 
strative classes. One of the most notable cases of this latter 
class with which he has been identified was that of James Saeger, 
who was engaged in the robbery of a safe in Pennsylvania in 
1868, from which half a million dollars' worth of greenbacks 
were taken. The loser by the robbery was an old German named 
Bennehoff, who resided at Petroleum Centre, in Venango 
county. Pa., and whose wealth had been accumulated with 
rapidity through the magic instrumentality of petroleum. He 
had, previous to the discoveries of oil in the Keystone state, 
lived there a quiet and frugal life, residing in a plain country 
house with his family around him. When his good fortune came 
upon him he did not change his mode of life, but continued in 
the same house, the only innovation being the addition of a small 
iron safe, which was deposited in a hallway in the dwelling. 
This piece of furniture was, compared to others of its kind, a 
fragile thing, but old Bennehoff considered it a secure depository 
for his fast accumulating wealth. He grew rich with wonder- 
ful rapidity, as those were the days of the coal oil boom. His 
wells were numerous and apparently inexhaustible, and the 
petroleum was worth a great deal more then than it ever has 


been since. He was in the habit of carrying his money home 
loose in his pockets every evening and pitching it carelessly into 
his little iron safe, going about his business feeling assured that 
his treasure was secure. 

Naturally enough the facts of his great wealth and his care- 
less disposition of it began to be noised abroad, and the cupidity 
of some of his neighbors became sorely tempted. Among these 
was James Saeger, who lived at Saegerstown, near Meadville, 
and no great distance from Venango. Up to this time Saeger 
had borne an enviable reputation. He was a member of an old 
and well known family, in whose honor the town at which he 
resided was named. He was at that time a man of middle life, 
of splendid personal appearance, had long been engaged in mer- 
cantile pursuits and was the head of an interesting family. Yet 
the temptation of Bennehoflf's weak safe was too much for him. 
It outweighed all considerations of good name and of family 
ties. He did not, of course, undertake the robbery alone, but 
was assisted by four other men of his locality, all of whom 
masked and boldly entered the house of Bennehoff while the 
family were at supper, and at the muzzle of their pistols com- 
pelled Bennehoff to deliver up the ke^' to one of his safes, in 
which he kept an enormous sum of money. This was done, and 
the robbers secured their bootv, over half a million dollars in 
United States notes, which they emptied into a pillow case and 
made good their escape. Two of the robbers were afterwards 
arrested and convicted, one getting seven and the other fifteen 
years in the Pennsylvania state prison. Two others have never 
been heard from, while the fifth, Saeger, has been a fugitive 
from justice ever since, followed by detectives nearly into every 
corner of the world, until his arrest in Denver, since which time, 
for reasons which will appear, he has been let alone. It ap- 
pears that after the robbery the money was secreted for two 
days, it being the understanding amongst the robbers that they 
were to meet at a specified time and "whack up." 

Once entered upon his downward course, Saeger moved with 
great celerity. He even neglected to observe the regulations 
which have led the world to adopt the general conclusion that 
there is honor among thieves, but before the time for the meet- 


ing of the robbers and their "divvy" had come around, Saeger 
stole the whole amount from the hiding place and jumped the 
country, leaving his companions with no money and the guilt 
of being parties to the burglary, and also deserting his family- 
It was one of the most remarkable cases on record, and, at the 
time, created much excitement amongst the people of that sec- 
tion, and was heralded through the press of the land. 

Old Bennehoff was almost wild when he came to fully realize 
his loss. He was still wealthy, notwithstanding |500,000 had 
been stolen from him, and he announced his determination to 
capture the thieves at any cost. He offered first a reward of 
15,000, then of |10,000, then $25,000; then capped the climax by 
offering |100,000 for the taking of Saeger, when it was dis- 
covered that he had all the lost money, and that he seemed in 
a way to effectually evade the officers, unless Bennehoff should 
make it an object to them to search "the world over for him," 
as he stated it to be his desire that they should do. 

As a consequence, detectives flocked to the humble home of 
this rich man to obtain clues for the purpose of working up 
the case. The}' came from all sections of the Union — from New 
York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburg and numerous other 
places. In fact, almost the entire detective skill of the Union 
was concentrated upon the case. They searched the country for 
their man in its every nook and cranny. Doubtless as much 
monej' was spent in the aggregate in making the search as was 
offered in the reward. 

Among those who devoted several months' time to the case 
was Capt. Hage, chief* of the detective force of Pittsburg, who, 
after visiting Venango and taking elaborate notes, conceived 
the theory that Saeger had come to Colorado soon after the rob- 
bery, and he came to Denver himself, crossing the plains on a 
stage coach, making this city his headquarters while he scoured 
the country round about. But his efforts were of no avail. 
After spending much time and considerable money he returned 
to Pittsburg. During his stay here Capt. Hage conferred fre- 
quently with Chief Cook, of the Rocky Mountain Association, 
who cooperated with him. He furnislied the Denver detective 


with complete information as to the robbery, and also left a 
description of Saeger. 

Bennehoff never gave any notice of having withdrawn the 
reward, and Cook determined to keep a lookout for the bold 
robber, and did so for years. At last, after six years of waiting, 
his patience was rewarded by getting a view of the evasive and 
long-sought-for safe blower. 



Gen. Cook had learned that Mr. Gus Potter and his wife, 
who then, as they do now. kept a restaurant on Blake street, 
had known Saeger personally before coming to Colorado. He 
naturally concluded that if Saeger should come to Denver he 
would be found at Potter's place. Hence he decided to 
keep an eye on this establishment. One day. in passing the 
Potter place, he saw a man walk out — tall, dark-haired, dark- 
complexioned and fine-looking, answering, in fact, the descrip- 
tion of Saeger to the letter. He allowed the stranger to pass 
on unmolested, but when he had disappeared sought Mr. Potter, 
and to his great delight learned that his eyes had not deceived 
him and that his inference had been correct. Cook virtually had 
his man. and was in a fair way to secure a prize for which his 
entire profession had been contending. 

Gen. Cook first caught sight of his man June 15, 1874:. and 
he soon learned that this was the second visit which Saeger had 
paid to Potter's place, having come in first on the day preceding. 
Mr. Potter told the detective all he knew about Saeger, who had 
adopted the alias of Thomas L. Magee. and related the fellow's 
story as he had received it. Saeger had stated that he had come 
to Denver with a large herd of cattle and a force of thirty 
herders. The cattle were halted about eight miles distant from 
Denver, up Cherry creek, and Magee came to town to transact 
some business. While here he stepped into Potters restaurant 
to get some oysters. He had no idea thathe was anywhere near 
people who knew hiDi, not being acquainted with the locality. 


Wliile partaking of his meal, Mrs. Potter, happening to pass 
through the dining room, heard Magee speak, and she at once 
noticed a familiar tone in his voice. Taking a keen look at the 
man. she at once discovered that it was James Saeger. whom 
she had not seen for vears, or since she was a little girl, bnt 
whose features had made such an impression upon her memory 
as to remain there indelible. Mrs. Potter accosted him with 
••How do you do, Mr. Saeger?" whereupon he turned instantly, 
as though a voice had called him from another land, and an- 
swered her. So completely overcome was he — not knowing at 
first his interrogator — that he confessed his identity and engaged 
in conversation. Mr. Potter and his wife and Saeger then spent 
several hours together in conversation. He was also recognized 
at once by Mr. Potter, when called in. for he had. many years 
ago. adopted Potter as his son. in Baegerstown. He told Potter 
that he was now in the Texas cattle trade, and was the owner 
of between 30.000 and 40,000 head in that state: also, that he 
had several herds on the road between Texas and Colorado. He 
returned to his herd near the city that night, and came to town 
a^ain the next dav. in the meantime informing Potter that he 
desired to make him his attorney for the transfer of a large 
quantity of property. It was on tbe occasion of this second visit 
that Detective Cook had discovered his man. Potter knew all 
the particulars of the Bennehoff robbery, and Saegers complicity 
in the affair, but had been ignorant of his whereabouts until the 
strange incident occurred which brought the fugitive into his 
restaurant for a dish of oysters. Knowing that Detective Cook 
had been advised, several years before, of the occurrence, and 
had a full description of the man. and as Saeger had played a 
dirty trick on his (Potters) uncle in Saegerstown. by which that 
relative had to suffer the penalty of the law. Potter made no 
effort to screen the man. and entered into a plan to assist in the 
capture of him. He induced his brother. Charles Potter, to go 
out to Saeger's camp, up Cherry creek, and get Saeger to come 
into town on the Sunday following. This was done because there 
was danger of Saeger's getting wind of the operations of the 
detectives, and of his giving or attempting to give them the 
slip. Potter went to the camp, when Saeger was found in a 


genial mood. He partook freely of some good spirits Potter 
had along, and finally, when night was well advanced, and there 
was supposed to be little danger of detection, he himself sug- 
gested coming to Denver, and together the couple came in. They 
were met promptly upon their arrival by Mr. Cook, who ap- 
proached the fugitive on the street, and without any ado made 
him a prisoner. The fellow^ was given no opportunity to make 
any defense, and, seeing that he had at last been caught in a 
trap from which he could not, at any rate not then, extricate 
himself, he surrendered with good grace and went quietly to Jail. 
In conversation with Cook, Potter and others, after his ar- 
rest, Saeger freely admitted that he was the identical Bennehoff 
robber, but averred that had he been armed the officer would 
never have taken him. It was the first time, he said, that he 
had ever been taken unawares, although he had been followed 
and watched for six years. He also related somewhat of his 
life since the time of the robbery. After leaving Saegerstown 
with the money — which he had in an old clothes bag — he en- 
gaged as a coal heaver on a steamer on the Ohio river. The 
first stopping place was Pittsburg, after which he went to New 
Orleans, becoming a gambler further down the Mississippi. 
From New Orleans he passed over to Cuba. He did not stay 
there long, but went to Mexico, from which country he went 
to Texas. In short, he had been a wanderer over the face of 
the earth, fleeing constantly from the detectives who he knew 
were hounding him down, and resorting to every possible means 
of disguising himself. In Texas he found himself comparatively 
safe, and if he had been content to remain there, buried away 
off on the Llano Estacado, as he was, he might have remained 
there in safety. He had lost all his money when he went to 
Texas, for he had gambled constantly and had led a fast life, 
and had engaged there as a cowboy, but he w^s too shrewd to 
disclose this fact in this interview. He preferred to have it 
believed that he was still very wealthy, and the sequel shows 
that he adopted the wise course in this respect. Saeger stated 
further in the conversation that he had been cornered several 
times before, but managed to get away through the free use of 
money. The money, or the bulk of it, which was stolen, he said, 


was placed where it never could be touched. Saeger told Pot- 
ter that he had alwajs intended to repay BennehofE in full, 
trusting to speculations to realize money enough to double his 
pile, but that he had had reverses and lost a good deal. 

Saeger was also called upon at the jail by a Texas detec- 
tive, who chanced at the time to be in Denver, and who knew all 
the particulars in this case, having been retained to capture 
Saeger imniediatel3' after the robbery. He was at the Benne- 
hoff house and took notes of all the circumstances, and searched 
for Saeger eight months without so much as getting a "pointer" 
as to his whereabouts, and finally gave up the chase. The gen- 
tleman had a talk with the prisoner, who confessed to him that 
he was the man they had been looking for. The Texas detective, 
although perhaps a slight bit jealous, was loud in his praise of 
his Rocky Mountain brother. For that matter, everj'body con- 
gratulated and praised Gen. Cook for the good work which 
he had done. The RocJci/ Mountain Xeics said: 

"Our detective force has achieved a signal victory in this 
capture. We congratulate Mr. Cook on his good luck in captur- 
ing the robber. It is a great deal better for people to remain 
honest, or, if they will commit crimes, to keep away from the 
country where Dave Cook officiates. His eagle eye and insin- 
uating manner will spot and fool the keenest of thieves." 

But what of the |100,000? the reader will be anxious to 
know. The result shows how ungrateful some people can be, 
and how great the risk that detectives take in hunting down and 
arresting wrong-doers. Bennehotf was notified of the arrest soon 
after it was made, and he sent his son, in company with an 
officer, forthwith, to secure the prisoner and whatever of val- 
uables he might have retained. When the son came he offered 
Gen. Cook the paltry sum of $200 for his services. The offer 
was spurned, and negotiations as to the reward were then 
broken off with the young man, though suit was begun to re- 
cover the entire sum offered. But before papers could be served, 
Bennehoft" had stolen out of town. So that part of the transac- 
tion ended. Having been treated so shabbily. Cook left Benne- 
hoff to conduct his business with Saeger as best he could. The 
young man hurried his work through, fearing the suit and de- 


tention, and started back to Pennsylvania with notes from 
Saeger for part of the money which had been stolen, and which 
were secured by mortgage upon Saeger's herds of cattle — which, 
by the way, it was discovered he did not own — not a single 
Texas steer. Indeed, it was ascertained by Gen. Cook soon after- 
wards, that Saeger had merely attached himself to a Texas 
drove and had come to Colorado as a herder. He had been 
driven out of Texas for his misdoings there. While in that 
state, and sailing under an alias, he had been chosen as an in- 
spector of cattle at the Bed river crossing, and as such used his 
oflBcial position to aid a few accomplices, with whom he had 
stolen 1,400 head of cattle. This fact became known before the 
stock was driven off, and Saeger only escaped Ij^nching by hasty 
flight. This circumstance brought him to Colorado. 

Gen, C, W. Wright was Saeger's lawyer, and he was also 
busy at this time, and before the town knew it, Saeger had been 
released on a writ of haheas corpus, and was far away oh a horse 
provided for his escape. 

So far as is known, the Pennsylvania safe blower is still at 
liberty, if he is not dead, simply because a miserly old man was 
anwilling to pay a detective for his work. But the capture will 
go down to the future as one of the neatest ever made by an 
officer in the West. 



Mr. T. Jeff Can*, for a long time city marshal of Cheyenne, 
and for many ^ears past a resident of that city, has long been 
one of the most vigilant as well as one of the most successful 
members of the Rocky Mountain Detective Association, ever 
working in perfect harmony with Gen. Cook. 

On the 24th of July, 1881, Mr. Carr made an arrest in Chey- 
enne which resulted in the development of the facts in an unpro- 
voked and heartless murder, which had previously occurred in 
Utah. The man arrested was one Fred Welcome, a young man, 
but, notwithstanding his age, thoroughly hardened in crime. He 
had come to Cheyenne about the 15th or 16th of July of the 
year above mentioned, and had been residing in that city, lead- 
ing a pretty gay life, for a week, when Mr. Carr received a tele- 
gram describing the man and offering a large reward for his 
capture on the charge of murdering J. F. Turner, near Park 
City, Utah, early in the same month. On a train which came 
in from the west on the day of the arrest was J. W. Turner, 
father of the dead man and sheriff of Utah countv, Utah, and 
William Allison, sheriff of Summit county, Utah, who were 
tracking the murderer, and from them and others afterwards 
the details of the crime were learned. 

It appears that the elder Turner, who resided with his 
family at Provo, Utah, had been sheriff of his countv for some 


time past, and that his son had frequently been associated with 
him in bringing the guilty to justice, and among others who had 
been brought to punishment through his instrumentality was 
this Fred Welcome, a young fellow who lived about town and 
who was never known for any good that he had done to any 
one. On the contrary, he was considered as a loafer and beat, 
and was frequently arrested for crimes of greater or less mag- 
nitude, and being arrested, was placed in jail. He seems to 
have held young Turner to blame especially for one term of his 
imprisonment, believing that Turner, who was cognizant of his 
crime, had informed upon him. He laid this up as a grudge 
against the 3'oung man, and theatened vengeance upon him for 
the act, saying to one of his fellow prisoners while incarcerated 
in the jail: ''By G — d, I'll kill him if it is ten years from now! 
I'll follow him to his grave." 

But nothing was thought of this threat and others like it 
at the time they were made. They were considered as merely 
the vaporings of an idle mind. However, they were brought to 
mind soon afterwards in connection with the horrible suspicion 
that young Turner had been murdered after leaving home in 
company with Welcome, who had been released from jail. 

As soon as he was out of prison. Welcome set himself to 
work to prevail upon the son of his jailer to go with him to the 
mining districts near Park City, saying that he had a claim 
there which was rich, and agreeing to give half of it to Turner 
on condition that the latter would go along and take two teams 
and wagons. The proposition was at first declined, but after- 
wards, upon the urgent and repeated solicitation of Welcome 
and the constant reiteration of his assertion as to the value of 
the mine. Turner consented to go, and all being in readiness 
they started out about the middle of June. Turner had two good 
wagons and two pairs of animals quite tempting to the eye of 
the lover of horseflesh. The wagons were also well laden with 
food for both man and beast, there being about a thousand 
pounds of barley in one of the wagons. 

The teamsters camped near Park City for several days, but 
do not appear to have begun work immediately, and while there 
were joined by another party, a man named Emerson, who seems 


to have been a pal and an accomplice of Welcome's. Together 
the three lived for a while, sleeping in a tent and making fre- 
quent excursions to the citv together. Whether there were any 
quarrels among them does not appear, except upon the testi- 
mony of Welcome himself, who says there was a quarrel on 
the night of the murder, but his story is probably not good 
testimony in the connection. 

The murder occurred on the evening of the 3d of July, 1880, 
but was not suspected for some days afterwards, as no one 
paid close attention to the movements of the teamsters or to 
their coming or going. There had been no witnesses to the 
crime to tell the story, and the murderers were allowed to move 
on unmolested and unsuspected. The first suspicion of the 
crime was formed by the family of young Turner, who, not hear- 
ing from the son for several days, began to fear that some evil 
had befallen him. 

Being then told for the first time of the threats which 
Welcome had made that he would kill the young man, they 
became exceedingly anxious for tidings from the son, and began 
to set inquiries on foot. They heard nothing until one day a 
telegram came to them from Green River, Wyo., some twelve 
days after the murder, from a friend, informing them that a team 
which had once belonged to the Turners had been sold at that 
place. "My boy has been killed!" exclaimed Mr. Turner with 
sudden conviction, and the young man's mother fell down in 
a swoon upon receiving what she too considered positive evi- 
dence that her boy had been slain by a murderer. 

A dav or two afterwards the news of the finding of the 
body of young Turner was taken to the already heart-broken 
parents. A mountain man named Leonard Phillips, living in 
Echo caiion, a stupendous and lonely gorge in the Sawatch 
range of mountains, familiar to all travelers over the Union 
Pacific railroad, had gone out one day to look up the outcrop- 
ping of a quartz vein of whose existence he knew, and noticing 
a peculiar odor, detennined to investigate the cause of it. The 
stench was so strong that he did not have to look a great while 
until he came upon a pile of stones thrown in between large 


Looking down upon this mass of rock, Mr. Phillips beheld 
the limb of a human being protruding from the mass — quite 
a different outcropping from that which he had gone out to seek. 
He was naturally horrified at the discovery which he made, but 
after taking time to collect his thoughts, determined to investi- 
gate further. He soon succeeded in bringing the body to day- 
light, and was astonished at finding that, although there had 
been considerable decay, he was able to recognize the remains 
as those of J. F. Turner, whom he had known. 

The fact of the ghastly find being made known to Mr. Tur- 
ner, senior, he ordered the body sent to Provo, and there gave 
it a decent burial. 

The sad rites being performed over the boy's grave, Mr. 
Turner determined to hunt the murderer down. "I will follow 
him to the end of the earth but what I will find him," he 
said. ''The slayer of my boy shall not live a free man while I 
have life and means." He accordingly prevailed upon his 
brother sheriff, Mr. Allison, to go along with him, and together 
they started in search of the murderer. There was no doubt 
in the mind of either that Welcome was the man wanted, but 
it was not known until afterwards that Emerson had had any 
connection with the case. Gradually they became possessed of 
the facts, which they found sufficiently horrible to shock any 
one not related to the murdered man, to say nothing of the 
sensation which must have been produced upon the father. 



At Park City there were found witnesses who had seen the 
murderers on the evening of the tragedy, before and after its oc- 
currence, and their conduct had been shameful in the extreme. 
Whether a quarrel was picked with Turner was not known, but 
the circumstances went to show that there had been no quarrel, 
but that the murderers had found their victim sitting, and had 
advanced upon him from his rear, striking him in the head with 
a heavy axe, the blow being of such force as to cleave the skull 
and produce instant death. Welcome asserted after his capture 
that the blow had been struck by Emerson, but all the circum- 
stances went to show that Welcome himself had wielded the 
death-dealing weapon. The skull wound showed that the blow 
had been struck by a left-handed person, and Welcome was left- 

There were also several persons who had seen blood on his 
garments after the tragedy had occurred, as it had spurted upon 
him from his victim. His threats, too, were remembered. About 
11 o'clock on the night of the killing, and after it had oc- 
curred, there were several who had seen Emerson and Welcome 
at a dance house where they seemed to be especially hilarious, 
drinking and dancing with the girls and making themselves es- 
pecially agreeable to those whom they met. One man who was 
in the dance house at the time noticed blood on Welcome's shirt 
front and asked him what it meant. Welcome at first tried to 
hide the blood; apparently upon second thought, threw his vest 


open and showed the blood, and also pulled up his coat sleeve 
and showed blood on that, saying as he did so: 

"I hit as — of a b — to-night, and I hit him hard, too. I 
not only hit him, but I pinched his windpipe for him." 

Several others saw the blood and to them he made this 
same speech, but no one supposed that anything more than an 
ordinary fight had occurred, and none gave the matter a second 

The murderers remained about Park City for two days and 
three nights after committing the crime, mingling freely with 
the lower classes of people and having as before a gay time. 
They had laid the body of their dead companion in the wagon 
with the barley sacks, and, cold-blooded and merciless as they 
had been, had been afraid to stay at their camp during the night, 
and had gone to town each night to carouse and to sleep, when 
they could sleep. They appeared to be nonchalant, but they 
found, as all murderers do, of however hardened character, that 
the crime bore down upon them. It was a heavy weight. They 
tried to drown it in drink and in the gayeties of dance house 
merriment. But thev failed signallv. 

The murderers concluded that they must get rid of the body 
and that then they would find peace of conscience. They deter- 
mined to move on, taking the body as well as the property of 
the murdered boy with them, and to find some place to hide it 
from view, thinking that in this case, as in some others, the ob- 
ject being out of sight would be out of mind. They journeyed 
on, however, selling some of the barley by the way, until they 
came to a lonely and secluded spot in Echo caiion, where they 
camped for the night, and where they lifted the body of their 
former companion from its resting place in the wagon from 
among the barley sacks, and as the darkness came on in the deep 
canon, laid it to rest, leaving the owls and night hawks to sing 
the funeral dirge, and the moaning pines to offer up prayers for 
safe passage to the Great Beyond. 

So the murderers were freed from their burden and they 
passed on over the country. But were they happy? And did 
they find that contentment of mind which they had hoped would 
come after getting rid of the corpse of their late friend? At 


Green Eiver, Welcome said to a barkeeper whom he met there: 
''I can not sleep well at night; I am afraid.'' 

He then asked the barkeeper: 

"Did you ever kill a man?" and added, ''I never did." Then 
he stopped for a moment as if engaged in thought, and said: 
"Yes, I have; I have killed a young and innocent man in cold 

He seemed lost for a moment, and soon took his departure 
with a troubled countenance. 

From the time the body was disposed of in the lonely spot 
in Echo caiion, the men pushed rapidly eastward, making an 
effort at every opportunity to dispose of their barley and their 
teams and wagons. They disposed of the grain at Evanston, and 
of the first team at Piedmont. Journej'ing on, they stopped for 
a few days at Green River, where the second team and wagon 
were sold. The articles were all offered at prices below their 
real values, and some suspicion was created. The murderers 
declared that they had owned the animals for four years; but 
they at last found a man who had known the team as belonging 
to Turner, and who had telegraphed him of the effort of a 
stranger to sell them. 

This was the first clue which the father had of the son's 
murder. While he was coming to Green River, accompanied by 
his friend, Sheriff Allison, the two men, having at last disposed 
of the property, took their departure quietly, and no one seemed 
to know which way they had gone. The pursuers only reached 
the place to find that their game had flown, and to find them- 
selves arrived at the place with nothing to do, and with the pros- 
pect of starting back home without finding the object of their 
search. The old father's heart was almost broken. As a last 
resort they telegraphed to Detective Carr, Superintendent Cook's 
assistant at Cheyenne, on the 23d of July, and succeeded in get- 
ting him interested in the case. He had no idea that the mur- 
derer was near him at the time of receiving the telegram, but 
he immediately set to work with his usual vigor and shrewdness 
to bring down his game. He did not have to wait long. 

Mr. Carr soon learned that there was a young man in the 
city who answered the description given of the murderer of 



^oung Turner. A brief investigation convinced the officer that 
this was the man that was wanted, but the detective determined 
to "make haste slowlj," and as he knew that the fellow could 
not dodge him, he decided to watch him awhile before taking 
him in; merely for the sake of entirely satisfying himself as to 
the correctness of his conclusions. He found that the young 
man had been a guest at a leading hotel for a week past, and 
that he had been making himself generally agreeable, spending 
money freely and seeming to be in very easy circumstances. He 
was especially fond of buggy riding, and was a liberal patron of 
the livery stables. On the day that the telegram was received 
the young man went out for a drive, but, although he did not 
tnow that such was the case, he was closely shadowed by Carr. 

The dispatch came just in time, for later in the day the 
murderer undertook to continue his journey eastward, going to 
the depot to take the train for Omaha. He was followed to the 
platform by Detective Carr, who by this time had learned that 
the pursuing officers would arrive in Cheyenne on the same train 
which Welcome had intended to board. 

The scene as arranged and enacted proved tragic in the ex- 
treme. As the old father and his friend Allison stepped off the 
train at one end of the smoking car, Welcome undertook to step 
on at the other end. 

Carr had stood around carelessly up to this time, but as the 
joung man started to the train he said, sotto voce, "No you don't," 
and walking up to the young man laid his heavy hand on his 
shoulder, causing the youth to look with something of an aston- 
ished air, and exclaim: 

"What is it?" 

"I am a detective." 

"Oh, you are?" 

"Yes, sir; come with me." 

"What for?" 

"For murder — for the murder of young Turner." 

"So you've overtaken me. Well, by G — d, I suppose I'll 
liave to go! I did it, and there is no use to kick. Where are you 
taking me?" 

"To meet the father of the man vou murdered." 


At this suggestion the fellow trembled visibly, but went 
along. When he was brought face to face with old man Turner, 
the latter's face turned ashen pale, his teeth were set in a mo- 
ment, and his hand was thrust into his hip pocket. A moment 
later and the sun's rays were gleaming along the barrel of a 
large revolver which the old man had pulled, and with which, 
in a second more, he would have laid his son's murderer low, 

Mr. Carr, seeing the turn atfairs were taking, stepped in to 
prevent further bloodshed. 

Welcome was taciturn and sullen in the presence of the 
father of his victim, but being again alone with Carr, he said : 

"By G — d I done it, and I expect to swing for it, I killed 
Turner and sold his team, and have spent the money. I am 
guilty and I expect to swing; of course I do," 

Before leaving for home with the prisoner, Mr, Turner said 
to a Cheyenne reporter, with whom he talked : 

"I want you to distinctly understand that Mr, Carr of your 
place deserves all the credit of catching this rascal, and had it 
not been for him he would have slipped our fingers," 

The reward in this case amounted to a round thousand. 

Once on board the train bound for Utah, Welcome became 
quite communicative. He had told Carr before leaving that he 
himself had killed young Turner, and that he had done so be- 
cause he had a grudge against him, and because he wanted his 
property. Now he denied all connection with the murder, and 
said that the crime had been committed by Emerson, saying 
that Emerson and Turner had quarreled, and that Emerson 
killed Turner in the fight. 

The trial took place at Salt Lake City, on the 18th day of 
February, 1881, and resulted in proving a clear case against 
Welcome, who did not introduce a particle of rebutting testi- 
mony. The jury was out only a few minutes, when it brought 
in a verdict of guilty in the first degree. The sentence would 
necessarily have been death, had not Welcome's lawvers sue- 
ceeded in getting his case before the supreme court, where it 
was remanded back for a new trial, 

Emerson, Welcome's accomplice, was disposed of more sum- 


niaril3\ He was captured near Green River, in August, 1880, 
and tried at the succeeding May tenn of the Salt Lake district 
court, and sentenced to the penitentiary for life, and he is now 
serving out his sentence. 



The second trial of Welcome, or Hopt, as he declared his 
name to be, did not bring out any new evidence to materially 
affect the case, one way or the other, and the verdict was the 
same as in the former trial. 

Again his attorneys carried the case through the territorial 
supreme court, and then on to the supreme court of the United 
Htates, securing another trial with the same result. 

Still hoping to wear out the prosecution, and especially the 
unceasing efforts of Mr. Turner, the father of the murdered man, 
the attorneys for the fourth time invoked the aid of the supreme 
court and secured a fourth and last trial. Despite the cunning 
of liis attorneys, and the sympathy of the powerful Mormon 
church, which he had in some manner secured, there could be 
but the one verdict, and that of wilful and premeditated murder. 
Hopt heard the verdict with stoical indifference, and as the laws 
of the territory permitted a man to choose between shooting and 
hanging as the death penalty, Hopt chose to be shot, and Judge 
Zane set the time for his execution on Thursday, August 11, 1887, 
more than seven years after the commission of the awful crime. 

Another and final appeal was made by his attorneys to have 
the United States supreme court set the verdict aside, but that 
patient tribunal finally refused to longer retard justice, and de- 
clined to interfere. Strong pressure was then brought upon 
Gov. West, but he. too, decided that the murderer had been 
given too many chances to escape the consequences of his crime 
already, and declined to interfere. 

Finding that there was no alternative but death, Hopt gave 
up all hope, and as the date of the execution approached. Mar- 
shal Dyer began his preparations. A space was cleared within 


the prison walls, and a cloth tent for the executioners, who were 
five in number, was set up. 

Hopt's nerve staid with him to the last. He ate his meals 
regularly, and his sleep was apparently undisturbed by any ap- 
paritions of his victim. At 11 o'clock on the day of his ex- 
ecution he ordered his dinner, which he ate with a relish, and 
then called for a cigar. It is doubtful whether any martyr ever 
met his doom with greater fortitude or more real stoicism than 
that which Fred Hopt exhibited in accepting the fate which the 
law dealt out to him. He faced Winchester rifles with a bold- 
ness and intrepidity that were remarkable, and while some fifty 
or sixty men who had been specially permitted to witness the 
execution stood aghast at the scene, he exhibited not the least 
evidence of excitement. 

He sat on a cane-bottomed chair, posing as though he were 
looking into a camera instead of gazing down the muzzles of five 
death-dealing weapons. Four of the 45-70 Winchesters were 
loaded, the fifth carrying a blank cartridge, so that none of the 
executioners could lay the flattering unction to his soul that his 
gun carried the deadly missile. The names of the executioners 
were kept a profound secret. They were covered with black 
cambric to their ankles, holes being cut in their hoods to see 
out of. 

They were sent to the firing tent at 12:30 o'clock, to which 
United States Deputy Marshals Pratt and Cannon had already 
carried the weapons. This tent, which was thirty-six feet from 
the victim's chair, was of canvas, all enclosed, with five three- 
inch square loopholes cut in the north side. The shooting took 
place in the northeast corner of the penitentiary yard, the other 
prisoners having all been locked in the dining room fifteen min- 
utes prior to the time when Hopt was brought forth. 

It was 12:30 o'clock when Hopt was told that every thing 
was ready, and he marched deliberately from his cell to the spot 
where, seA'en minutes later, he paid the penalty of his crime. 
He was dressed in a suit of black diagonal clothes, his Prince 
Albert coat, low shoes, white shirt, white tie, and derby hat giv- 
ing him a ministerial appearance. He walked unfalteringly be- 
side Marshal Dj'er, and on reaching the chair, said: 


"Now, gentlemen, I have come here to face my fate. Had 
justice been done me at my first trial, I would not have been 
here to-day for this purpose. I have no ill will toward any 
man living, and now consign my soul to God." 

A paper one and one-half inches square was pinned over the 
condemned man's heart, the good-byes were said. Marshal Dyer 
gave the order to lire, the guns clicked as though operated by 
one man, and in the twinkling of an eye Hopt was dead, two 
balls piercing his heart, and the other two passing through the 
body half an inch below that organ. There was a slight spas- 
modic action of the muscles of the throat, but not a muscle of 
the arms or legs twitched. Death was instantaneous. Father 
Kelly, the Catholic priest who had been with Hopt in his last 
hours, administered extreme unction. The body was prepared 
by the physicians, placed in a coffin, and taken to an under- 
taker's establishment in the city. 

Sheriff Turner was not permitted to witness the execution 
of his son's murderer, but stood outside the walls and heard the 
shots fired which put an end to the wretch's existence. 

Hopt made no confession. He was very guarded in all his 
utterances during his last hours, but he made no protestations 
of innocence, nor did he say aught implicating Jack Emerson, 
who was at least an accessory after the fact. 

The execution of Frederick Hopt for the murder of John F. 
Turner, seven long years after the crime, rung down the curtain 
on a drama as replete with startling incidents as any to be found 
in the realms of fiction. It is certainly one of the causes celebre 
of the West, and its thrilling events find but few parallels in the 
annals of criminal judicature. The case was made interesting, 
not only by the fact that the crime was a dastardly one, but 
also because one of the oflicers who tracked the murderer was 
the father of his victim; not only by reason of the fact that that 
father on three or four occasions saved the villain from mob vio- 
lence, nor yet, because of the patience with which that parent 
for seven long years waited to see justice meted out and the law 
vindicated, but it is interesting because it emphasizes the mar- 
velous safeguards which the law throws around a prisoner in 
this country, and the maudlin sentimentalitv which a criminal 
can arouse, no matter how cold-blooded his (rime may have 




During the latter part of October, 1877, Judge Foster, a 
judge in one of the districts of the United States courts in Kan- 
sas, was spending a few days in Colorado, enjoying the delight- 
ful autumn weather of this climate, when there came a sudden 
call upon him to go home to hear proceedings in an important 
railroad suit, in which the Kansas Pacific company was in- 
terested. It was a case demanding almost immediate attention, 
and distance must be annihilated in some way. The Kansas 
Pacific railroad was the connecting link between Denver and 
the point at which the judge's presence was wanted. He had 
hardly expressed his desire one evening to be in Lawrence, Kan., 
the next morning in time to open court, when an engine with a 
sleeping car attached was announced to be at his disposal. A 
few moments later and Judge Foster had seated himself in the 
car and the engineer was told to fly. 

Just as the car wheels were beginning to revolve, an en- 
cited individual rushed unnoticed through the dark and caught 
the car as the rear end passed by him. Swinging himself from 
the ground to the seat of the rear platform he became a fellow 
traveler with Judge Foster on his lightning express, they being 
the only passengers. There was considerable difference between 
the two men, in social position, in official rank and all that 
makes man well-to-do and respected in the world. The man who 


had joined the judge was a thief, a bigamist, a strolling fiddler 
and now a fugitive from justice. A queer combination — the 
same fast train hurrying one individual off that he might mete 
out justice and another that he might evade justice. 

The train rushed out of Denver into the prairie land beyond, 
and pushed on through the darkness towards the east at the 
rate of fifty miles an hour. Judge Foster lay back in his cosy 
apartments and went to sleep. His fellow passenger clung des- 
perately to his hard board seat in the rear and busied himself 
in holding his place, while the train bounced junkety junk over 
the rail couplings. The subject of his revery as he sat thus 
confined to his seat must have been a medley of women, of dance 
hall music, of police officers, of a lovely little home with wife 
and child down in the silvery San Juan, of a voyage and illicit 
courtship on the ocean, of wandering along the banks of foreign 
streams talking of home in the Rocky mountains, while still he 
was far away in the Faderland. Whatever the reverie may 
have been, it was suddenly interrupted after it had had full 
sway for some five hours, by a heavy hand falling upon the 
shoulder of the fugitive. 

• ''Who are you?" was demanded. ' 

*'My name is Bernheim." 

''What are you doing here?" 

"I am going east." 

"How did you get on?" 

"I jumped on." 

"With whose permission?" 

"With my own.'* 

"Then you will have to get off." 

"All right." 

This is a portion of a conversation which our fugitive had 
with the brakeman of the little train. The party was nearing 
Wallace, Kan., where it was desired to stop, and the brakeman 
had come out to be at his post of service when the whistle of the 
locomotive should warn him that it was time to apply the brake. 
The shrill cry was heard just as the conversation was concluded, 
and the trainman turned to do his duty. In a few seconds the 
train had stopped perfectly still and the brakeman turned to 


the unwelcome passenger to renew his command to move ofif. 
But the fellow had anticipated him- and had jumped off as the 
train slackened and had disappeared. He thus bade adieu to 
Judge Foster and his fast train, the latter having been of all 
the service to him that it was possible to be, as he had cleared 
the limits of Colorado and felt that he had given the officers 
a slip which one scamp in ten thousand does not have the op- 
portunity to give. 

We, too, dismiss the judge and his whirling car and also 
for the present the fugitive from justice and take him up at 
another time of life. We still for the present stick to the Kan- 
sas Pacific road, however. 

In the fall of 1S7G, a year previous to the occurrence above 
described, on an eastern-bound train, two Germans, a man and 
a woman, became acquainted. At first the acquaintance was 
commonplace, made up of formal courtesies, but when upon 
comparing notes the two travelers found that each was bound 
for the same country, Germany, and that that was the native 
land of each of them, and when later thej became passengers 
on the same vessel across the ocean, the acquaintance assumed 
something of a romantic nature. To make it brief, they landed 
in the old world affianced. The lady's name was Miss Maggie 
Harencourt, of Denver, a cousin of Mr. Jacob Schuler, of the 
same place, and she was visiting Germany for her health. The 
man's name, as given the lady, was Sally Bernheim, a native 
of Dusseldorff, Germany, and as he represented to Miss Haren- 
court, a merchant from Lake City, Colo., on his way to visit the 
scenes of his boyhood. 

In Gennany thej saw much of each other, Bernheim urging 
the lady to become his wife, and she repeatedly refusing on 
account of her health. When he returned to America, which lie 
did in the following spring, he obtained from his sweetheart a 
promise to marry him on her return to this country. She at the 
same time informed him of a legacy to which she had recently 
come into possession, the amount of Avhich she did not disclose, 
but it was supposed to be something handsome. 

A correspondence was opened between the two, which was 
kept up with regularity and fervor on both sides. The lady had 


proposed that the marriage take place upon her arrival in New 
York, Bernheini to go to that point from Colorado to meet her. 
Pleading the unnecessary expense and the demands of his busi- 
ness, the lover succeeded in gaining the consent of his fiancee to 
a marrige in Denver, to be consummated whenever Bernheim 
should learn from her of her arrival in the city. Miss Haren- 
court arrived October 20, 1877, and registered at the American 
house, and notified her waiting true love at Lake City of the 
fact of her presence. She remained at the hotel three days and 
then repaired to the residence of her cousin, Mr. Schuler, whom 
she told of her expected early marriage. 

A few nights later the Denver and Rio Grande train from the 
south brought among its passengers Mr. Sally Bernheim, of 
Lake City, who took a room at the American. The next day 
he called upon his promised bride, and their meeting was most 
affectionate. A speedy marriage was urged by Bernheim and 
consented to by the lady. 

In the course of the forenoon they took a walk about the 
city, and the confiding Mis Maggie told Bernheim that she had 
nine new flOO bills, with which she hoped to endow him, a 
small portion of the legacy to which she had lately come into 
possession. With a natural. and becoming solicitude the groom 
expectant urged the impropriety of her carrying so large a sum 
of money with her, and suggested that she entrust the funds ta 
him, and that he would deposit the money in the Exchange Bank 
in her name and subject to her check. A thankful consent was 
given, and leaving the lady at her house, Bernheim went to the 
bank and deposited the |900 — in his own name. 

That afternoon at 3 o'clock the pair called at tne residence 
of Rev. eT. G. Leist, of the German Methodist church, and the 
twain were made one flesh. They, now Mr. and Mrs. Sally Bern- 
heim, repaired at once to Brunell's boarding house, then a 
fashionable place, on Fourteenth street, where the best the 
house afforded was extended to them, and Sunday was passed 
in the delectability of the honeymoon. Monday forenoon a man 
giving his name as H. A. Thompson, who was introduced to 
Mrs. Bernheim by the husband as a friend from Garland, called 
on them at Brunell's, the bearer of a letter from Bernheim'» 


partner at Lake City, which stated the necessity of purchasing 
a bill of groceries at Kansas City. The letter was written in a 
business-like manner and shown to the bride, who was forced 
to admit the necessity of a brief separation from her husband, 
for, of course, the expense and trouble of her accompanying him 
was not to be thought of. It was decided then than Bernheim 
was to go East to purchase goods. 

For some reason this plan was not acted upon, or rather 
a new phase in the affair changed the course of the plot, as will 
be seen. The following day Mr. and Mrs. Bernheim repaired to 
Dr. Buckingham's office, the lady requiring medical attention. 
While there a man entered the office, and walking to Bernheim, 
said loudly: 

"How is wife number two?" 

Receiving no reply he turned to the horrified bride and 

"Are you this man's wife?" 

She replied, greatly agitated, "I am, sir." 

"Why," said the stranger, "you are not; and this man, if 
he has married you, is a bigamist, and has a wife and child in 
this very state. I am a sheriff from his home and have come 
to arrest him." 

Imagine the feelings of the poor woman, her dream of hap- 
piness thus rudely brought to a close. But where was the man 
who had wronged her? While the stranger and the woman had 
been talking, Bernheim had slipped out of the room and could 
not be found. The stranger rushed in pursuit, but had no sooner 
passed out of the office than the husband returned, saying he 
had simply hidden. He admitted to the weeping woman the 
truthfulness of the charge. He was married, but was carried 
into the terrible wrong he had done by his passionate love for 
her. Now, nothing remained for him but to fly. He left the 
heart-broken woman swooning in the office and started by the 
rear entrance to the building for the depot. This was about 3 
o'clock in the afternoon. 

Dr. Buckingham was informed by the woman of the 
wretchedness of her condition, and that worthy gentleman has- 
tened at once to the office of the Rocky Mountain Detective As- 


sociation, where he laid the matter before Chief Cook, bringing 
that officer and also Sheriff Abe Ellis, of Pueblo, who was in 
the office, to the room where Mrs. Bernheim was waiting their 
coming. In broken sentences the woman told them her story. 
Sheriff Ellis at once recognized from her description of her 
husband a somewhat noted character of Southern Colorado, 
named Charles Blume, a fiddler who had furnished music for 
social parties and dance houses in Garland, Lake City, Las 
Animas and other towns for the past three or four years. He 
had married a young woman at Las Animas in 1875, who with 
their baby was living in Lake City. 

The detectives undertook to find Bernheim, or Blume, if 
possible, although the outlook seemed very gloomy. No one 
could be found who had seen the rascal since he had disap- 
peared from Dr. Buckingham's office, and there was no trace to 
be had of him. The next day the man Thompson, who had 
brought the letter to Bernheim, was arrested at the American 
house. He denied all knowledge of the affair, except that he 
bore a letter from Lake City to Denver for Bernheim. But 
when, upon searching him, a telegram, written to be sent Bern- 
heim at Wallace, was found in his pocket, he confessed that he 
knew something was wrong, and that he had come to Denver 
in answer to a telegram from Bernheim, and had received from 
that worthy the letter he represented as having brought from 
Lake City. He said, furthermore, that his name was H. A. Mor- 
ris, and that he took a fictitious name at Bernheim's instigation, 
as he knew that party had done. Thom'pson was locked up. 

The next morning, November 1, Deputy Smith, at the insti- 
gation of Chief Cook, took the east-bound express on the Kan- 
sas Pacific in pursuit of Bernheim, or Blume, it being very evi- 
dent from the dispatch found on Thompson that he was some- 
where on that road. At noon of the same day a telegram was 
received from Deputy Smith to the effect that Bernheim had 
stolen a ride on the* special car carrying Judge Foster to Wal- 
lace, and instructing the officers to head the man off by tele- 
graph. The wires were at once clicking, sending word to the 
agents of the detective association at Junction City, Topeka, 
Leavenworth and Kansas City, and that night about 9 o'clock 


word came over the wire from Sheriff D. E. Kiehl, at Junction 

''Your man Bernheim is under arrest." 

He was brouglit back without difficulty, and had to serve 
out an eight year's sentence in the penitentiary at Cailon City. 
At last accounts his first wife was still living in Lake City, and 
the second w^as still in Denver. Morris was discharged from 




Back in the early days, two of the most noted desperadoes 
and horse thieves of the Rocky mountain region were George 
Britt and William Hilligoss, who, like many others, did not 
come to grief until Gen. Cook got on their track. They had 
been guilty of many crimes, but no one ever succeeded in over- 
taking them until Dave Cook was elected city marshal of Den- 
cer, and made it his duty to track them down, which he did, 
almost unaided, and brought them to town in four days after 
their crime. 

When Cook was elected marshal of Denver for the first 
time, in 1866, he printed a notice, saving that he would agree 
to find stolen stock when notified twenty-four hours after its dis- 
appearance, and that if he did not find it, he would pay for it 
himself, after such notification. One day in December, 1867, a 
well-known ranchman named Mclntyre came to the city and put 
up at McNassar's corral, which then stood on the present site 
of the American House. The next morning the horses had dis- 
appeared, and Mr. Mclntyre was quite in despair. The animals 
were very fine ones, and the loss would have been very severe 
upon him. He had little hope of recovering them, as up to that 
time the thief who had been able to once get away with stock 
had generally made good his escape. 

However, Cook undertook to find the stock, telling Mr. 
Mclntyre to be of good cheer, as the chances were that he would 
yet secure his property for him. In looking about, he discov- 
ered that Britt and Hilligoss, whom he had already spotted, had 


disappeared. He at once came to the conclusion that they were 
the guilty parties. This ''pointer" once obtained, he soon added 
one clue to another, until he was quite thoroughly convinced 
that his men had gone north. Selecting as an assistant a dep- 
uty marshal named Rhodes, he started in pursuit on horseback. 

The weather was freezing cold, but the officers traveled for- 
ward, notwithstanding this disagreeable circumstance, stopping 
only to make inquiries for the fugitives and to get their meals. 
The trail was struck at the Platte bridge and followed by the 
oflScers to Boulder, where it was lost. 

Two days and nights were spent in the effort of the officers 
to run their game down, but apparently to no avail. On the 
third day Gen. Cook returned to Denver, having left Rhodes in 
Boulder. He had scarcely arrived, and had had no time for rest 
or recreation, when he received news from Capt. J. W. Barron, 
of Bijou Basin, a member of the detective association, telling 
him that two men answering the description which he had sent 
out of Britt and Hilligoss had passed there acting very strangely. 
Barron's message stated that the men had applied for something 
to eat. They had stated that they were traveling to Denver, 
but after getting a short distance from Bijou had turned, cir- 
cumventing the settlements and going towards Kansas. 

''They are my men," said Cook, "and I'll go for them forth- 

He had not yet rested since his long ride to the north, but 
he was off on the next stage, which soon left for the East. 

In those days there was no Kansas Pacific railroad to the 
East, and all the travel was done on coaches — not a very pleas- 
ant mode of traveling in cold weather, or when there were In- 
dians about. This was a time when the plains abounded in In- 
dians, and when it was necessary to keep a guard on the outside 
of the coach to protect passengers from the Sioux and Cheyennes 
and Arapahoes. It was also very cold weather, and frost-bitten 
feet and hands and ears were quite the fashion with the travel- 
ers of the time. But Mr. Cook started out undaunted. Stop- 
ping at Bijou Basin and other points only long enough to get 
information of the progress of the horse thieves, he pushed on 
with speed. At Cheyenne Wells he received information which 


made it quite certain to him that he was on the right track,' and 
he exchanged his ordinary clothing for a stage driver's outfit, 
so as to avoid detection. After crossing the Kansas line he 
heard of the fellows more frequently, and while sitting with the 
driver he espied two men just west of Pond creek, near li'ort 
Wallace, whom he believed to be the men he sought. They liad 
hired out as laborers, and were carrying picks and shovels, with 
which to begin operations. They were near the road, and as 
Cook drove closer to them, he establislied their identity beyond 
a doubt, so that he instructed the driver to stop after passing 
them a few feet, and get down and pretend that something had 
broken about the gearing. The driver did as instructed. Cook 
also dismounted and walked carelessly about, while the driver 
swore at the inate meanness of the stage gear. 



Hiligoss and Britt were evidently taken entirely unaware. 
The two thieves had stopped and gone to work, and did not 
suspect the shabby looking stranger who was now standing with 
his back towards them only ten paces away, until he turned 
upon them with cocked pistol in his left hand and as usual, pre- 
sented with an aim which thev saw would be fatal, and com- 
manded in clear and distinct tones: 

"Hands up!" 

They hesitated a minute. 

Cook drew a finer bead. 

"It's no use," said Britt; "he's got us, d — n it!" and up their 
hands went. 

Thus were two desperadoes, either one of whom was con- 
sidered a match for any two ordinary men, taken by Gen. Cook. 
He even compelled them to disarm themselves by unbuckling 
their pistol belts and letting their pistols drop to the ground. 
Then he threw a pair of handcuffs to Britt and told him to put 
them on. 

"I can't," Britt replied. 

"Put it on or I'll put a hole through you as big as a bay 

The fellow snapped the irons on. Both men were served in 
this way. Both horses were also recovered. 

The succeeding night was spent at Fort Wallace waiting 
for the return stage, and Cook was compelled to stay up with 
his prisoners all night to guard them. The next day he started 
back with his men, riding with them in a stage coach, or freight 
coach, almost as dark as a dungeon even in the day. Cook had 


now been out for four nights and was natural!}^ exhausted. He 
sat on the floor of the vehicle, his feet resting against the oppo- 
site side, while the two prisoners reversed his position, their feet 
resting against the same wall which supported his body. They 
were thus sitting when the officer dropped off to sleep after night 
came on. While thus situated Cook felt his pistol slowly crawl- 
ing out of the scabbard by his side. He was awake in an in- 
stant, and, slapping his hand upon the weapon, found it half way 
out, one of the thieves having pulled it out with his feet. Mr. 
Cook demanded a light from the driver after this pleasant epi- 
sode, which the driver at first declining to furnish, he told him 
that he could either give him a candle or carry two dead bodies 
to Denver, as he would most assuredly kill the two fellows if 
they were given another opportunity to bother him. The light 
was furnished. 

Cook now set the two men in one end of the vehicle and 
took a seat himself in the other, telling them that he always 
slept with one eye open, and that if they even touched him again, 
he would blow them through. They didn't touch him after this. 
They afterwards confessed that if they had gotten Cook's pistol 
they meant either to kill him with it or make him set them free. 
He had a derringer besides the revolver, however, and would 
probably have been equal to the emergency if they had gotten 
his revolver. Still he did not care to risk himself in their 
power, and hence did not go to sleep again. 

The scoundrels were as quiet as mice the rest of the way, 
and the journey to Denver was devoid of further incident, ex- 
cept that soon after the little matter referred to one of the 
thieves had complained that his handcuff hurt him. Thinking 
the fellow had been fooling with it in trying to get it off. Cook 
reached over and simply tightened it for him. 

The officer arrived home on the fifth day out. He was, of 
course, almost worn out and nearly frozen. Turning the pris- 
(mers over to the jailer he went to bed and slept seventeen hours. 
When he awoke he found the man whose handcuffs he had so 
kindly tightened suffering great agony, and discovered then that 
George Hopkins, who was then jailer, had tried in vain to wake 
him to get the handcuff keys, but had failed utterly, so dead 


asleep had Cook been. He was sorry, but be couldn't cry, as 
he had only, though unintentionally, punished a man who would 
have killed him if he had gotten an opportunity. 

Britt and Hilligoss were afterwards tried and sentenced to 
three years' imprisonment each, but both escaped after serving 
a year, and neither has ever been heard of since. The stock 
were returned to their owner, who, it may be inferred, was quite 
rejoiced at the success of the officer. 

This, take it all in all, was a remarkable exploit — remarkable 
in the odds against Cook when the men were captured, in the 
persistence of the pursuit, and in its many details. It has, for 
these reasons, been chosen to suggest the frontispiece picture of 
this volume. 




"Sedalia can not have Scbamle. His goose is cooked. 
Found liim hanging over a pig-stye this morning. Saltpetre 
can't save him. Biggest show of the season." 

Such was a telegram received from Georgetown by Gen. 
Cook, on Saturday, the loth day of December, 1877. Kobert 
Schamle was a brute of a tramp who murdered an inoffensive 
man in Georgetown a few weeks previous to his lynching, and 
who was charged with having committed a rape in Sedalia, 
Mo., before coming to Colorado. He claimed to be the grand- 
son of Schamyl, the Circassian warrior, who made a big name 
in his guerrilla warefare upon Kussia in the early part of the 
present century. But the probabilities are that he lied in this 
matter, and he is believed to have been a native of Switzerland. 
Whatever his nationality or lineage, he disgraced it. 

The murder was committed on the 13th day of October in 
the year mentioned, the name of the murdered man being Henry 
Thedie. Thedie was a respectable German butcher employed 
at G. E. Kettle's slaughter house, about two miles below George- 
town, near which place he resided with his family, consisting 
of a wife and three small children. The evidence obtained at 
the coroner's inquest conclusively proved that Schamle was the 
murderer, and that the crime was one of the most diabolical 
and cold-blooded outrages that ever stained the annals of a civ- 
ilized country. The murdered man was known to have had 
about |80 on his person immediately prior to his death, and the 
possession of the money appears to have been the only motive 
for the perpetration of the hellish act. 


Schamle was emploj^ed as a helper at the slaughter house 
at the time, borrowed a pistol at Harvat & Aieher's slaughter 
house on the afternoon of October 12, and although the shooting 
was heard, and Schamle seen to flourish a pistol at 5 o'clock 
that evening, and immediately afterwards leave the place, the 
result of his bloody work was not known until the following 
morning, thus giving him a start of over half a day. There was 
no evidence of a struggle having taken jjlace, or of any ill feel- 
ing having existed between the parties, and the position of 
Thedie's body showed plainly that he had been deliberatly shot 
and almost instantly killed. 

The officers of the law started in pursuit of the wretch as 
soon as the crime was made known, but nothing definite as to 
the direction he had taken, was discovered at that time. It was 
suggested in the Georgetown Miner that if The Rocky Mountain 
Detective Association should be employed it would probably re- 
sult in his capture, but no steps were taken in that direction 
by the proper authorities. Two weeks later, Mr. G. E. Kettle 
employed that association, giving a description of Schamle, and 
promising a reward in case of his arrest. This step, as usual, 
had the desired effect. The fellow was traced by Gen. Cook's 
force from Georgetown to Denver, from this place to a point on 
the divide, from there to Pueblo, and from Pueblo to West Las 
Animas, where he was arrested December 6, by Pat Desmond, 
a deputy of Abe Ellis, at that time sheriff of Pueblo county, 
and a member of the detective association. 

'The case was well worked up by Ellis, Avho was, during his 
life, one of the most efficient of Gen. Cook's aids. In this case 
he had employed a colored man to track the murderer down, 
and he proved quite a capable detective. Gen. Cook had in- 
formed Mr. Ellis that Schamle was coming in that direction, 
and by some means Ellis became aware of the fact that the 
negro man had in days gone by been associated with the mur- 
derer and knew him. His sub-detective was stationed about the 
cattle yards at Pueblo, as that was considered the place at 
which Schamle would most probably turn up. The inference 
])roved to be a correct one, and the watch had no difficulty in 
spotting the fellow, who came to the place and remained a day 


or two. While there he was very non-committal, but did not 
seem to carry any great weight upon his mind, as a murderer 
would be supposed to do. For this reason the negro had his 
doubts about his being the guilty man; and while he was hes- 
itating about furnishing his information. Schamle swung into 
a freight train and took his departure, stealing a ride to West 
Las Animas. 

Finding his man gone, Mr. Ellis sent his deputy in hot pur- 
suit. Being overtaken, the fellow sullenly surrendered to Mr. 
Desmond and accompanied him back to Pueblo. He said but 
little on his way to Pueblo, but when told in Pueblo that a 
Georgetown man was coming down to identify him, he re- 
marked : 

"I wonder if they'll hang me if they get me there," and im- 
mediately relapsed into silence. 

To Sheriff Ellis he denied ever having been in Northern Col- 

Photographs were taken and sent to Geergetow^n for identi- 
fication, and the}' were recognized at once; but to make doubly 
sure, George Chapman, Mr. Kettle's clerk, went to Pueblo to see 
him personally, and he at once identified him. 

When Chapman met Schamle he broke down and acknowl- 
edged the crime. He said that he quarreled with Thedie about 
skinning a beef; that Thedie knocked him down; that he got up 
and ran, and passing a pistol — which he said was borrowed to 
shoot some chickens — he seized it, turned and fired, and contin- 
ued his flight, not knowing whether he had killed him or not. 
This is his story, while the fact is he murdered Thedie for his 



On the 12th of the same month Schamle was taken to 
Georgetown by Sheriffs Ellis and Easley. It had been discussed 
on the streets and elsewhere that he was a proper subject for 
lynch law, but no demonstrations of that nature were made 
upon his arrival. 

On the following day his shackles were removed in the pres- 
ence of a large but not appreciative crowd. Their remarks on 
this occasion evinced no particular affection for him, and must 
have suggested to him the propriety of making arrangements 
for a trip to a warmer climate than Colorado. On the same day 
he was taken before J. P. DeMattos, justice of the peace, but 
waived examination and was committed to jail. 

That was all right so far, but the public mind was somewhat 
agitated over the matter, and did not deem the Clear Creek 
county jail sufficiently secure for the safe keeping of such a 
wretch as Schamle. The report of the Sedalia rape case had 
also reached Georgetown, and this did not raise him any in the 
estimation of the people. An ominous murmur buzzed around 
on the streets. For one night he was permitted to slumber un- 
disturbed, if the blessings of repose could lull such a brute, and 
for a few short hours render him insensible to the misery he 
had wrought. 

On Saturday morning, the loth, between 3 and 4 o'clock, 
a number of masked men kicked open the door of the room 
in which Mr. Sanders, the jailer, and A. W. Brownell were sleep- 
ing, and covered them with the light of a dark lantern and three 
pistols, at the same time requesting them, in a manner that 
showed they were not to be trifled with to hold up their hands 
and make no noise. 

Hanging of Robert Schamle in a Georgetown Hog Pen, by a Mob. 


Both were thus awakened from a souud. slumber, and they 
instinctively obeyed orders, well knowing that resistance was 
in vain. The vigilantes then searched for the keys to the cells, 
and at length found them between the bed and the mattress 
•where the jailer was sleeping. They then left the room, leav- 
ing two men to guard the door, and took Schamle from his cell, 
some time after which the keys were thrown on the bed where 
the men werelying, and the lynchers left. 

Here there is a missing link in Schamle's history. It is not 
known to the general public whether he made any unbecoming 
-demonstrations, or protested his innocence, or said his prayers, 
the only record being that left with the body by a local poet, 
who half lets us into the secret in the following lines: 


Not a bark was heard, not a warning note. 

As we o'er to the calaboose hurried; 
Not a Thomas cat cleared his melodious throat 

Where our hero in slumber lay buried. 

We entered his cell at the dead of night. 

The bolt with the jail keys turning. 
The moon's pale crescent had sank out of sight. 

And never a lamp was burning. 

No useless stogas encased his feet; 

And we saw, as we carefully bound him. 
That he stood like a coward, dreading to meet 

The shades of the victims around him. 

Few and short were the prayers he said — 
He did not have time to say long ones — 

But he steadfastly gazed at the frame o'er his head 
And grieved that the posts were such strong ones. 

We thought, as we hoisted him up from the ground 

And made the rope fast to a corner. 
That the cool morning zephyrs would whisper around 

A corse without ever a mourner. 


Lightly they'll talk of the deed that is done, 
And wonder, *'Wlio was it that hung him?" 

Though little they'll grieve to see him hang on 
The beam where the "vigilance" swung him. 

As soon as our cheerful task was done, 
Ere the light of the morning was firing 

The peaks that glow in the rays of the sun, 
We prudently spoke of retiring. 

Sternly and gladly we looked on him there 
As we thought of his deeds dark and evil; 

We heaved not a sigh and breathed not a prayer, 
But we left him alone with the Devil. 

This, to be sure, is slightly mysterious, and perhaps not 
entirely reliable. At any rate, the body of the murderer was 
found when the sun rose, hanging by the neck to the frame of 
a dilapidated building, a few hundred feet from the jail, which 
is used as a pig pen. As soon as the deed became generally 
known, a large crowd of both sexes collected at the spot to 
gaze upon the ghastly spectacle. His toilet had evidently been 
hastily and carelessly made, but possibly he was not to blame 
for this. He was minus his hat, coat and vest, and in spite of 
the predictions that are usually applied to his ilk, he did not die 
with his boots on. 

Between 8 and 9 o'clock a brief inquest was held over the 
remains, and a verdict in accordance with the facts was re- 
turned. The body was then cut down and laid on the end of a 
large cask which served as a sleeping apartment for pigs. When 
it fell down the head was gashed by the rocks. The body re- 
mained where it was placed until 11 o'clock a. m., and during 
that time was viewed by hundreds of people who were con- 
stantly arriving and leaving, and among all that crowd there 
was not one pitying eye, or a single expression of sorrow or sym- 

The action of the vigilantes was universally applauded in 
Georgetown; in fact, they were regarded as public benefactors. 

A local paper said : ''His capture is another demonstration 
of the effectiveness of The Rocky Mountain Detective Associa- 
tion, and of its great usefulness in bringing criminals to justice." 



iJui'iug the mouth of October, 1877, Gen. Cook received a 
postal card containing the following: 

$500 Rcicard — The above reward will be paid for the arrest 
and detention of Charles H. Foulk, who is under indictment for 
arson, larceny, perjury and subornation of perjury. Description 
as follows: Age, forly-one years; height, six feet; weight, about 
one hundred and eighty pounds; has brown hair; had a light 
colored chin goatee about eight or nine inches long when he left 
here about the 20th of July, 1877, which covered the chin pretty 
well; long face, thin cheeks, high cheek bones; blue eyes; scar 
on right side of upper lip; large shot lodged in back of one of 
his hands — think it is the left hand; upper front teeth far apart 
and have conspicuous gold plugs; large feet and very long, and 
always wears shoes, generally fancy ones; when walking he 
takes long steps, and has a rolling gait; his shoulders are broad, 
stooped and of average breadth; gambler by profession; Jaro 
dealing is his choice game, and would be found in the association 
of gamblers. Arrest and notify 


Harrisburg, Pa. 

The card was filed in the book devoted to such literature in 

the office of the Detective Association. No trace of the man 

was obtained, however, until in January, 1878, when another 

postal card from the Pennsylvania detectives stated that they had 



heard that the man was in Cheyenne and that |500 reward would 
be paid for his capture. This turned out to be a false report, 
but early in March Gen. Cook learned through a member of the 
Rocky Mountain Detective Association at Little Rock that the 
man had been seen there, and had only left a few days previous, 
on a rumor that the marshal of that place was about to arrest 
him, and that it was believed that he had gone to Colorado, 
most likelj^ to Leadville. 

The next clue bringing the game nearer home was the ar- 
rival in Denver, early in May, of a modest looking little woman, 
who registered at the ^Vent worth house, standing Avhere now 
the St. James stands, as Mrs. G. M. Curtis, of Marysville, Cal. 
Soon afterwards Mrs. Curtis left the Went worth and went to 
the Inter-Ocean, where she registered under the same name. The 
next day, Thursday, a man registering as G. M. Curtis put in 
an appearance, and claimed to be the husband of the woman. 
He registered from Marysville, Cal., also, and she acted as if 
liis arrival had been anticipated. After his coming he was seen 
frequently' in company with gamblers and sporting men. Gen. 
Cook, of the detective association, was then sheriff. He caught 
a passing glimpse of him Saturday afternoon, and at once hur- 
ried to the office to look up the description of Foulk. It an- 
swered perfectly, and having found the man, the next thing to 
do was to cai)ture him. To accomplish this, the first officer re- 
tired from the field and Deputy Sheriffs Frank Smith and Ar- 
nold were detailed to work up the capture. Thej^ shadowed the 
man all dav for two or three davs and until 6 o'clock of the 
evening of the 26th, when, being satisfied that he was the party 
they were after, the two repaired to the Inter-Ocean and waited 
for Curtis to come in to supper. His wife happened to pass 
through the office, and seemed to have her suspicions aroused 
by seeing the two men present. She walked up to the clerk and 
remarked in a tone loud enough to be heard by the officers, 
"that she would go out and meet her husband, as he seemed to 
be late." 

Thinking that she was trying to mislead them, the officers 
followed her. 

Mr. Smith then motioned to Mr. Arnold to come (mean- 


while keei)ing an eye on Mrs. F.), and said: ''Get my horse; 
she may be going off to get into her carriage." Arnold did as 
requested, and overtook Smith several squares from the hotel. 
He then concluded to get back to the hotel as fast as he could, 
for he believed this to be a game put up on them to follow 
madame and allow the husband to get away. Arnold went 
back to the Inter-Ocean as fast as possible, it being understood 
that if he should find Foulk there, he should arrest him at once. 
Smith was to stay with the woman. Meanwhile Detective 
Smith closely watched Mrs. Foulk, who had entered Mr. Ballin's 
store, on Larimer street. 

Detective Arnold had scarcely time to go back to the hotel 
when Mr. Smith looked around and saw Arnold coming toward 
him with Foulk under arrest. He had been "nabbed" with the 
assistance of Officer Hudson, and the two came marching up 
the street with their prisoner between them — each having hold 
of an arm. 

When Arnold entered the Inter-Ocean he saw Foulk stand- 
ing in the hotel office. As soon as the officer entered, Foulk 
seated himself on a chair. Arnold walked up as though he in- 
tended passing Foulk, and, turning suddenly, grabbed his right 
arm firmly. Hudson came to his assistance, and seized the other 
arm, giving Foulk no chance to use his revolver. 
Foulk sang out in a rage, "What do you want?" 
Arnold replied: ''You know something about the Blood- 
worth murder committed in Leadville?" [This was a ruse tO' 
throw Foulk off his guard and to get him away from the hotel 
quietly as possible.] 

Foulk said: "I know nothing about Bloodworth." 
Mr. Arnold: "You do; and you must go with us." 
Foulk walked along quietly, thinking there was some 
blunder in the job, and that he could easily prove his innocence 
of the charge. 

When Foulk was searched at tire jail a large self-cocking re- 
volver was found upon him. He was here told, in response to a 
question from himself as to what he had been arrested for, the 
facts in the case, but he denied everything, saying his name was 
Curtis and not Foulk, and that he was from California instead 


of Pennsylvania. Considerable money was found upon his per- 

The prisoner was then taken to the count}- jail and ex- 
amined. There was found in an inside vest pocket |933.55. He 
was searched again the same night, closely, and there were 
found carefully sewed up in the lining of his vest two $500 bills 
in one place and four |100 bills in another place, making the 
total amount he had on his person |2,383.55, for which amount 
Sheriff D. J. Cook, of Arapahoe county, gave Foulk a receipt, 
|5 being handed the prisoner for spending money. On the fol- 
lowing morning Foulk's wife visited him in prison, bringing 
with her W. D. Carlisle, a Denver lawyer. They held a con- 
versation for some time, and going to the sheriff's office de- 
manded the money taken from the prisoner. Sheriff Cook flatly 
refused to hand it over until it was ascertained whether it justly 
belonged to Foulk. The prisoner's wife and attorney left the 
office, and immediately entered suit against the sheriff for the 
sum taken from Foulk, adding $1,000 for damages. 

Although Curtis continued to protest his innocence, there 
was no doubt left that he was the man wanted. 

It is presumed that after leaving Little Kock the fellow 
came straight through and went to Leadville. It is known that 
he stopped at Fairplay, at the Bergli house, as the proprietor 
'of that hotel, who was in the city just previous to the time of 
the arrest, seeing his name and that of his wife registered at 
the Inter-Ocean, sent up his card, but was told that they were 
not in. Curtis came to Denver evidently from Leadville. He 
was there through a portion of March, April and May. He was 
a part owner in a gambling house there, and the memorandum 
book showed the receipts of the house for each night in the 
month. The receipts aggregated |1,500 per month for the first 
two, and nearly that sum up to the 21st of May. 

After his arrest it leaked out that his departure from Lead- 
ville was caused by the remark of his brother-in-law, a man 
named Creek, who was a partner in the gambling house, and 
who is now wanted for murder in Arkansas. It seems the two 
fell out over the management of the house, and Creek is said 


to have remarked in a crowd that he "'could send Foulk back 
to Pennsylvania for firing a house." 

After his arrest here, a sporting man who seemed to have 
known him in Leadville, volunteered to go up there and settle 
up his business, which was stil in operation. 

Curtis was a very powerful built man. cool as a cucumber, 
and is said to have been left severely alone by the thumpers 
and roughs at Leadville, because of his determined manner and 
his threat openlj' expressed to kill any man who interfered with 
him. His wife showed great distress upon hearing of his arrest, 
and cried and sobbed at a great rate. 

The Pennsylvania authorities being advised of the arrest, 
dispatched William McKeever, of Harrisburg, as a special officer 
to take him to that state. The officer arrived here with a re- 
quisition, and was soon on his way home with the prisoner, 
accompanied by Detective Smith. The officers gave it out that 
they expected to start on a Monday, but fearing a habeas corpus 
proceeding, left on Sunday, driving to a station with the prisoner 
a few miles out from the citv. 



But all was not accomplished, and not bv any means the 
worst of it. The officers sailed along over the Kansas Pacific quite 
smoothly. All went well until they reached Topeka, Kan., where 
the party stopped to get dinner. At this point W. D. Disbrow, 
the sheriff of Shawnee county, met the officers on the platfoim 
on their way to dinner. The sheriff stepped up boldly to the 
part}', handing Mr. ]McKeever a paper purporting to be a writ 
of habeas corpus, and laying his hand on Foulk, said, "And 
this is my prisoner!" claiming that a requisition upon the gov- 
ernor of Colorado would not hold good while a prisoner was in 
Kansas.- Here was more of the work of the Denver lawyers. 

Quite a scene now ensued, and a crowd soon gathered around 
the platform. High words followed, and both parties persistently 
claimed Foulk as their prisoner. Foulk here had an opportunity 
to display his wrath, and he seized it at once. He appealed to 
the crowd around him that he was arrested illegally — had been 
robbed of his money — torn away from his wife — had been given 
no "show" whatever — was the wrong man, etc. 

The prisoner was then taken before Judge Carey, who con- 
cluded to postpone the case, as he alleged, "to obtain evidence 
to prove that the prisoner was not Foulk, but ostensibly for the 
purpose of bringing on a lawyer from Denver to Topeka, with 
a view of having Foulk released if possible. The sheriff's writ 
claimed that the prisoner was not C. H. Foulk. Judge Carey 
decided that the officer who had him in charge was bound to 
prove that the prisoner was the identical man wanted — C. H. 
Foulk. But on their part the Topeka crowd had no evidence to 
offer that the prisoner was. Curtis and not Foulk. although Mr. 


McKeevei' was ready to swear positively to Foulk's identifica- 
tion. Strangely enough. Judge Carey discharged the prisoner in 
the very face of the fact that Mr. McKeever knew the prisoner 
well and was ready so to testify. 

Mr. McKeever then desired Sheriff Disbrow to rearrest 
Foulk, and Detective Smith stepped up to the sheriff and said: 

"I demand of you to arrest this man (pointing to Foulk), and 
hold him as a fugitive from justice from the state of Pennsyl- 
vania, until we can have time to swear out the necessary papers 
to hold him." 

Sheriff Disbrow, however, persistently refused to interfere. 

Mr. McKeever then inquired of Judge Carey whether ''Sher- 
iff Disbrow had not the right to arrest Foulk without a warrant." 
The judge shook his head. 

Detective Smith: "Judge, won't you order the sheriff to ar- 
rest him till we take out the necessary papers?" 

Judge Carey: "I have no right to do so." 

Foulk's attorneys, Messrs. Brown and Carlisle, together with 
Sheriff Disbrow and one or two of his deputies, then hurried the 
prisoner across the street to a blacksmith shop, where Sheriff 
Disbrow ordered the smith to "take off this man's irons, and 
do it quickly." Meanwhile a crowd of about forty or fifty per- 
sons gathered around the smith shop to witness the proceeding. 
In the shop stood a horse hitched to a post. The officers expected 
that Foulk, after his shackles were removed, would spring upon 
the animal's back and gallop oft'. ''Had the prisoner attempted 
that move," said Detective Smith, afterwards, "instead of land- 
ing him safe in Harrisburg, he perhaps would now be looking 
from behind the bars of the Topeka prison." 

Soon as Foulk started out of the court room, Mr. Mc- 
Keever repaired to the office of Justice Serrell to procure a war- 
rant. Remaining away rather long. Mr. Smith went after him 
and pressed the justice for the warrant desired. The justice re- 
plied, "I can not give you a warrant without a complaint." Mr. 
Smith then made the charge himself, and carrying the docu- 
ment before the justice of the peace, swore to the same and ob- 
tained a warrant for the rearrest of Foulk. 

Smith then looked for the sheriff or one of his deputies (there 


were three or four in all), but found only one of the deputies. 
He stated to the man that he now had a warrant for the re- 
arrest of Foulk, and desired the deputy to go with him and 
arrest Foulk speedily as possible. The deputy laughed in Mr. 
Smith's face and said: "Oh, I have not the time to spare!" 

After a full half-day's work. Constable Fred Miller was 
found, and he agreed to serve the warrant. The same afternoon 
at 3 o'clock Foulk was given a hearing, and held in 14,000 for 
ten days. 

The requisition from Gov. Hartranft to the governor of 
Kansas arrived on the next Sunday, and on Monday the gov- 
ernor's warrant came to hand. Thus matters rested till 9 o'clock 
Monday night, when the officers who had Foulk in charge caused 
it to be reported that they would start East on Tuesday morn- 
ing. One of Foulk's lawyers repaired to the sheriff's office and 
told that officer not to deliver up Foulk after night. District 
Attornev Vance stated to Sheriff Disbrow that he was in dutv 
bound to hand over the prisoner whenever the officer wanted to 
go East with him. 

The officers then devised the following plan of action in 
order that there might be no further interference. They made, 
or rather pretended to make, confidants of a number of Topekans, 
and stated to them that they would leave Topeka by team; 
would strike for the Atchison and Nebraska railroad at Brenner's 
station, fourteen miles northwest of Atchison ; that it would take 
three or four days to get there, and by that time the friends 
of Foulk would leave the track of them and give them no fur- 
ther trouble. This ruse worked splendidly'. Instead of taking 
the above route, thej' left North Topeka the same night, driving 
at a rapid gait three-quarters of a mile; thence headed south- 
ward the same distance; then headed due east to Lawrence, dis- 
tance twenty-eight miles — all after dark. From Lawrence they 
drove to Plymouth Hill station. Mo.. 120 miles from Topeka, 
traveling with Foulk now as a companion, having no irons on 
him. The above distance was made from ^londay, 9 p. m., till 
Tuesday, 7:55 p. m., when they boarded the Missouri Pacific 
train eastward bound. 

McKeever procured the tickets and attended to the baggage 


while Mr. Smith got Foulk on the train on the side opposite the 
platform, unobserved. Three tickets were purchased for St. 
Louis, one of which was placed in Foulk's hands, so tuat the 
conductor could obtain it without' exciting suspicion. Smith sat 
behind the prisoner and McKeever opposite. 

Directly afterward a well built, robust man came through 
the cars, stopping in front of Detective Smith, eyeing him and 
Foulk sharply. (The man was supposed to be an oflQcer with an 
ofiScial paper.) Eyeing Mr. Smith for a few minutes, he said : 

"Ain't your name William Johnson?" 

"My name is AA^illiam Franklin," replied Mr. Smith. 

The stranger continued: "I thought I knew you; once knew 
a man resembling you very much." 

"Guess you have struck the wrong man,'' replied the ofBcer. 

The stranger walked off and left the train at Sedalia, Mo., 
at 10:15 a. m. Detective Smith had a curiosity to know more 
about him and stepped out upon the platform, where he observed 
the man walk up to three others, and handing them a paper, 
remarked: "They are not on this train." 

All hands feeling fatigued after two days' excitement and 
an all-night drive, they took a sleeping car and retired, Foulk 
consenting to sleep between them. The officers, however, never 
closed their eyes. Next morning they reached St. Louis, and 
from that point to Harrisburg had no further trouble. Foulk 
denied his name until the party reached St. Louis, where he 
admitted that he was Foulk and not Curtis. He was met at 
the depot by a number of his former friends, who cordially 
shook him by the hand, 

He was taken to Carlisle by Detective Smith, who collected 
his reward and returned home, the money found upon Foulk 
being turned over when it became known to whom it belonged. 
Next to Foulk himself, his Denver attornevs fared worse than 
any one else. They fell into great disfavor because of the part 
they took in the affair, and one of them soon left the city and 
has not been seen in it since. Of course the damage suit against 
Cook was soon dismissed. 

The charges against Foulk were not proven, and after com- 
ing back to Denver and getting his money, he went to Hot 


Springs, Ark., where in partnership with another man he opened 
up a big gambling hall. Gen. Cook met him there in 1883^ 
going by the name of Potts. A couple of years after that Foulks 
was shot by a negro policeman who was trying to halt him for 
fast driving. The policeman called to him to stop, and he told 
him to "go to h — 1." The policeman shot him through the back 
of the head, killing him instantly. 




Charley Maxwell, a bright-faced and well-dispositioned lad, 
was shot down in a cold and cruel way by one John Kelly, a 
contractor on the Union Pacific railroad, near Fort Steele, 
Wyo., in 1SG8, while the railroad was building through that 
country. He was a Colorado boy, and his parents had permitted 
him to go away from home to secure work, and he had taken 
a place under Kelly as night herder of the contractor's stock. 
The boy owned an excellent pony,' which was almost his entire 
property, and he was naturally very fond of it. One day the 
Cli€»yenne Indians came along and stole it, and left him quite 
in despair at his loss. His grief was so intense as to have an 
effect upon the railroad workmen, and their sympathy grew to 
be so strong that they determined to buy him another pony, 
and raised sufficient money for this purpose by clubbing to- 
gether. The animal being procured, young Maxwell decided 
one day to return to Colorado, and demanded a settlement with 
his employer. Kelly was a rich man, worth perhaps no less 
than a hundred thousand dollars, but he was about as small a 
specimen of manhood as was ever permitted to live in this west- 
ern country', where such characters as a rule are not tolerated 
long at a time. ^Yhen the boy asked to be paid for his services 
Kellv coolly handed him the amount due, less the cost of the 
pony — with the purchase of which he had had nothing to do, 
mind you — saying that he would deduct the amount paid for 


the animal from the boy's pay. Maxwell was indignant, but 
helpless. He could only appeal for his just dues. This he did 
when opportunity offered, and seeing Kelly in a bank one daj', 
went in and asked him for the balance which he thought should 
be to his credit. Kelly turned upon him with wrath and poured 
a stream of profanity upon him, exclaiming as he went out of 
the bank: 

"FU teach you, you d — d little s — of a b — , to ask me for 

He passed out of sight for the time, and Maxwell thought no 
more of the matter until he saw Kelly coming down the street 
with a rifle thrown across his shoulder. He was then uncertain 
as to the man's purpose and made no attempt to get away. Pass- 
ing down the street on the opposite side from the boy, he said 
nothing until directly across from him, when he threw his gun 
across the wheel of a wagon for a rest, and, taking deliberate 
aim at Maxwell, shot him down in his tracks. The boy fell 
bleeding, crying: 

"O Mr. Kelly, you have shot me; please let me live. I will 
not bother you again." 

Kelly loaded his gun and walked across the street, saying 
in response to the lad's utterancs: 

"I don't think you will," responded Kelly as he placed the 
muzzle of the weapon to the boy's ear; ''not if I know what I 
am about. No, you won't ask me for any more money in a pub- 
lic bank. I'll warrant you don't." 

As he spoke the last words the trigger was pulled, and the 
top of the writhing boy's head was blown almost off by the 
bullet which went crashing through it. 

The men around were most of them employ(?s of Kelly's, to 
which fact alone is doubtless due his escape from lynching at 
the time. He was arrested and imprisoned at Fort Steele, but 
soon escaped from there and disappeared. Kelly's home was in 
Council Bluffs, Iowa, and thitherward he wended his way. In 
Omaha he was arrested, but contrived to get out of jail, whether 
by the use of money is not known. In Council liluffs the pro- 
gramme was repeated, and the fellow after that was allowed to 
go free for over two j'ears. 


In 1870 Maxwell's father decided to make a last effort to 
have his son's murder avenged, and he jjlaced the matter be- 
fore Mr. N. K. Boswell, of the Rocky Mountain Detective Asso- 
ciation of Laramie City, to whom he related the facts, saying he 
was poor and able to pay but little, and appealing to Mr. Bos- 
well's humanity. Mr. Boswell undertook the case, and never 
did a detective work more assiduously', or with more skill, or 
display greater tenacity of purpose or more downright courage 
than did Boswell on this case. The story would, indeed, be told 
except for the detective's work; but as it is, it is just beginning. 

Mr. Boswell soon learned the place of residence of his man, 
and going to Council Bluffs, there ascertained that Kelly was 
still contracting, and that at that time he was engaged near 
Red Oak, on the line of the Burlington and Missouri road, which 
was then being built in that section. 

In looking over the ground, Mr. Boswell found that his man 
was engaged three miles from Red Oak, but that to get a train 
it would be necessary to drive forty miles, to the junction of the 
Missouri Pacific railroad, through a thinly- inhabited region. 
Mr. Boswell, however, arranged his programme perfectly in ad- 
vance, ascertained the time at which trains passed the junction, 
and secured the services of a faithful man, the sheriff of the 
county in which Kelly was at work, and together they drove 
out to the point where Kelly was supposed to be engaged. 

Mr. Boswell had never seen Kelly, but he carried such a 
complete description of him that he knew he would recognize 
him at first glance. Fortunately the officers came upon the 
fugitive alone. As they drove along by the side of a railroad 
cut, they recognized him standing on the other side of the cut. 
After observing the movements of the officers for a few minutes, 
Kelly apparently decided in his own mind that they could bode 
no good to him, and started to walk away from them. ^Yhen 
they cried to him to stop he only walked the faster, and soon he 
started to run, evidently intending to reach a wagon and span 
of horses standing half a mile away across the prairie. The 
officers then left their horses standing and crossed the cut, find- 
ing Kelly at a dead run by the time they came up on his side 
of the track. They again shouted to him to stop, and as he did 


not obey the command, Boswell had his man send a shot after 
the fugitive. With this he ran the faster, 

Boswell again warned Kelly that if he did not stop he would 
shoot him dead; but the fellow paid no heed, and only continued 
his run. He was fast gaining upon the officers, and was evi- 
dently determined not to surrender. Boswell decided to make a 
grand effort to bring his man down. The fellow was running 
rapidly and the distance was great. Boswell is ordinarily a 
dead shot, but at this time the great distance, and the fact that 
he had on\y his pistol, were odds against him. He, however, 
stopped, and deliberately squatting, placed his pistol on his knee. 
Almost simultaneously with the report of the pistol Kelly 
stopped, threw up his hands and exclaimed : 

''My God, stop! You have wounded me. I will surrender!" 

Going up they found Kelly lying upon the ground with a 
bullet hole through his body, entering at the small of the back 
and passing out near the navel. Seriously wounded as one 
would have supposed the fellow to be, shot as he was, he scarcely 
bled at all, and he did not appear to be materially disabled. The 
officers compelled him to go back with them. One of them 
stepped the distance as they returned, and found that Boswell 
had shot two hundred and twenty yards when he struck Kelly. 
They found their man desperate, but apparently helpless. He 
swore with violent rage when first taken, and asserted that he 
had been murdered in cold blood, saying that he would not have 
been taken at all if his captors had not taken a miserable ad- 
vantage of him. 

The officers were soon permitted to see for themselves how 
difficult, if not impossible, it would have been for them to secure 
their man had they come upon him at a less fortunate time than 
they did. The firing of the pistols had attracted the attention 
of Kelly's work hands, who were engaged near the scene of the 
shooting, and the officers had not gotten Kelly to the carriage, 
when the laborers began to swarm around them. There were 
no fewer than sixty of them, led by a brother of Kelly, who came 
marching towards them, armed with sticks and stones, and 
swearing that Kelly could not be taken away. 
















"We'll show you about that," responded Boswell. "We 
came for him and we will take him. Keep jour distance!" 

As Boswell talked, the two oflScers leveled their guns at the 
crowd and ordered them to not make a move. Kelly was told 
to get in the buggy, but he declared that he was unable to do so. 
Boswell, stilL keeping his pistol leveled at the crowd, told his fel- 
low officer to shoot Kelly down on the spot if he did not step 
into the vehicle immediately. The order had its desired effect. 
Kelly stepped into the buggy, and the officers drove off, cover- 
ing the mob with their pistols until well out of their range, 
leaving them gnashing their teeth and swearing, but in vain. 

A fine prospect the officers had before them — very fine, in- 
deed I A wounded man to take care of, and how badly wounded 
they did not know ; a howling mob, headed by the brother of the 
prisoner, to follow them, and forty miles to the nearest railroad 
station, through a wild country, to them comparatively unknown. 
But Boswell is a man who never knew fear, who never shirked 
a duty, however gloomy the outlook or dangerous the path to 
be trod. He felt that his safety depended on the celerity of his 
movements, and he decided to ''get up and dust." His captive 
complained a great deal at first at the pain occasioned by the 
jolting of the vehicle; but finding that his groans occasioned no 
apparent compassion in the breast of his captor, that it certainly 
did not cause him to slacken his speed, he at last settled down 
into grim and sullen endurance, and the party drove on, no one 
saying anything. Boswell's companion held the reins, Boswell 
kept his arms in readiness to meet any sudden attack, and the 
prisoner continually glanced about him for the friends which he 
felt confident would come to his relief sooner or later. 



The arrest of Kelly had been made early in the morninj^, 
and it was not late in the day when Red Oak was reached. A 
brief stop was made at this point to consult a physician as to- 
Kelly's wound. The man of medicine said the prisoner had been 
dangerously shot; that the ball had passed through the abdomen, 
and the chances were two to one that he would die, but that his 
prospects would be in no wise injured by taking him on to 
Pacific Junction. Much against Kelly's will the officers mounted 
the vehicle, and with a "go long there," were oft" on the long and 
dangerous journey. 

On they went, as fast as the rough roads and the speed of 
their animals would permit, feeling that every step they went 
was putting danger all the further from them. They began to 
feel somewhat secure from attack when they passed the half-way 
point on their road. But their exultation was only short-lived. 
They were jogging along over a corduroy road through heavily 
shaded bottom land, when, glancing back, they beheld a small 
and motley army advancing upon them. Kelly's brother had 
gotten about twenty men together, arnn^d them with revolvers, 
shot guns, shovels, pitchforks, and mounted them on mules and 
"old j)lugs" of horses, and had come in i)ursuit. They were gal- 
loping along over the rough road strung out for a hundred yards, 
making quite a formidable appearance, indeed. 

"Well," I guess we'll just give them the best we've got in the 
shop, anyhow," says Boswell. "Let them come if they want to,"^ 


in a general waj', and to his companion officer, "Put your pistol 
to Kelly's ear and blow the top of his head off if he makes a 
move, or if his friends do,'' at the same time nudging the officer 
as a warning not to take him literally at his word. The com 
mand was intended for Kelly's ear and not for the officer's. We 
shall soon see whether the stratagem had its desired effect. 

In the meantime the horses had been stopped, and Boswell 
remarking, "I guess we'll face the music light here," had jumped 
out of the wagon, leaving his companion to take care of Kelly 
while he should face the mob. They rushed on even after Bos- 
w^ell had stepped out. When the infuriated crowd had come 
within hailing distance, Boswell raised his pistol and ordered 
them to stop. But they did not stop. He drew a bead on the 
leader and shouted to him: 

"Move another step and I'll shoot you dead as you come." 

This had its effect and the mob drew the reins on their 
animals and came to an unwilling standstill. 

"Now, what do you want?" he asked. 

"We want Kelly, and mean to take him." 

"Oh, you do, eh? Well, if that is all, come on and get him." 

It was now Kelly's time to speak. The muzzle of a cocked 
revolver was jammed into his ear and a Ann officer's fore-finger 
almost touched a trigger so that a move of it would have sent 
him into eternity in the twinkling of an eye. He fancied that he 
could almost hear the crush of the hammer, and he trembled like 
an aspen bough as he shouted to his rash friends: 

"For God's sake, boys, don't make a move; they will kill 


This had its effect, and a brief parley resulted in a promise 
from the crowd to not further molest the officers. They were 
told that if they should again attempt to come upon them, 
Kelly would be killed outright and that the officers were pre- 
pared to kill at least twelve of their assailants before being 

The mob were true to their word, and did not put in an ap- 
pearance during the remainder of the entire drive, which was 
made as hurriedly as possible. The captive and captors reached 
the junction a few minutes before train time, as Mr, Boswell 


had calculated to do. They found, somewhat to their surprise, 
that Kelly's brother and his party had taken another road and 
had gotten in ahead of them and had rallied a mob of two 
hundred to their support, who swore vehemently that Kelly 
should never be taken on the cars. Boswell managed to rush 
his party into the hotel unobserved, but they had no sooner set- 
tled there than the mob began to beat at the door and demand 
admission. This was denied them, and they were stood off until 
the train came up. It proved to be a freight, but Boswell de- 
termined to take it. 

Now was the trjing time. The mob had congregated on the 
platform between the hotel and the railroad track and was so 
dense that it looked impossible to force a way through it. But 
Boswell w-as equal to this occasion as he had been to others. 
"Now is our time, boys," he said, and thej^ prepared to move 
out. He had procured the assistance of another well armed and 
faithful man, and he placed him and the Missouri sheriff on 
either side of the arrested murderers, while he cocked two 
revolvers, holding one in each hand. The hotel door was opened 
as soon as the train stopped, and the party walked outside. They 
were met with a wild yell, and then became apparent a disposi- 
tion to move upon the little party. Again the pistols w-ere lev- 
eled and the crowd was told to divide so as to make a passage. 
Slowly it rolled into two walls as the Red sea did of old. The 
two assistants were placed in front while Boswell brought up 
the rear with his pistols in hand, and they passed through the 
jeering and swearing crowd. As they were neariug the cars a 
piece of cordwood struck Boswell in the rear, but did not hurt 
him badly. Quick as thought he turned his back to the cars and 
fired both of his pistols over the heads of the crowd. Such a 
scattering was never seen. The platform covered a marshy 
piece of ground and all around was a shallow pond. Two-thirds 
of the gallant two hundred were sent sprawling into the water — 
presenting a scene which was quite sufficient to excite Mr. Bos- 
well's idea of the ridiculous, notwithstanding his serious sur- 
roundings. Adjoining this pond was a cornfield, and through 
this the frightened creatures flew like* Texas steers. 

Tliere were, however, still a few- left, and they seemed more 


disposed to fight than ever. Kelly's brother jumped upon a 
fence and was preparing to shoot when Boswell leveled upon 
him and brought him down with a bullet through the thigh, 
producing a jell which acted as a potent quietus upon the crowd, 
and the battle was over. 

Some of the roughs made an effort to board the train, on 
which Kelly had been placed during the melee, but were knocked 
off, and ' soon the party was on the way to the Bluffs. The 
journey was without incident. 

But all was not yet over. Kelly was so badly wounded 
that it was found impossible to proceed further, without ab- 
solutely endangering his life. He was placed in the Council 
Bluffs jail and a physician sent for. Strange as it may seem, it 
was discovered that, although the ball had passed entirely 
through him, he had hardly bled enough to color his shirt, and 
the doctor stated that with ordinary care and rest he would 
soon recover. He was kept in the jail there two weeks while 
the physician was attending him, recovering rapidly all the time. 
Boswell remained close with his prisoner and slept with him 
ever}^ night. Not aware of this fact, Kelly's friends came one 
uiglit in force and began an effort to break the doors of the 
jail down. But being met by this man of eternal vigilance and 
an ugly Winchester rifle, they retired in some disorder, heaping 
imprecations upon his head. 

The next assault was upon Boswell's cupidity, and consisted 
in an offer of |40,000 in clean cash to him if he would allow 
Kelly to escape. But this was met as all other efforts of a dif- 
ferent character had been, and failed of its object, as it was 
refused, though Boswell allowed it to be understood that prob- 
ably it would be accepted, thinking that he might the more 
easily get his prisoner away when he should desire to remove 

It was while they were resting in this doubt as to ]?osweirs 
intention that he stealthily took his now well-recovered captive 
out of the Council Bluffs jail and crossed the Missouri river 
to Omaha on his way to Wyoming. The ruse was, soon after 
the departure, discovered, and while the officer was at Omaha 
another effort was made to recapture him. This was a well-laid 


plan and came very near succeeding. Boswell bad stopped at 
llie Cozzens house for the night, and Kelly had gone to bed. A 
young man named Day had been employed as a guard while 
the detective was out making arrangements for transportation. 
Kelly suddenly claimed to have a call of nature, which demanded 
that he should retire to the water closet in the back yard. Day 
stooped down to get the prisoner's boots for him, and as he did 
so, Kelly snatched the guard's revolver and shot him through 
the breast, though, fortunately, not dangerously. A struggle 
ensued between the two men and soon a large crowed of the 
guests of the house came to the rescue of the guard and assisted 
him to disarm the now thoroughly enraged criminal. 

Some one rushed over to the railroad office and informed 
Boswell of what was transpiring. Hurrying back to the hotel 
he concluded to go in the back way to avoid interference. Then 
another feature of the plot was revealed. A carriage stood 
backed up against the rear fence and a mob of forty friends of 
Kelly's were demanding admission to the hotel, while the pro- 
prietor of the house, a courageous old man named Ramsey, stood 
at the head of the stairs, up which they sought to go, brandish- 
ing an old saber and defying them. Boswell's appearance was 
sufficient to disperse the crowd, as his character had already 
become known to Kelly and his friends. Kelly was after this 
episode placed in jail. 

Boswell feared still another effort at rescue, and took pre- 
cautions to frustrate it. He employed a railroad man named 
Tliomas McCarthy to join the mob and keep him informed of 
their movements. Through this means he discovered that a 
plot had been set on foot to wreck the train six miles out. Ob- 
structions were placed on the track at a point where the train 
would have been thrown from the track before it could have 
been stopped. But Mr. Mead, then superintendent of the Union 
Pacific, sent out a fiat car carrying forty armed men, who re- 
moved the obstructions and allowed the passenger train carrying 
Boswell and his man to pass without further molestation. 

The seven or eight hundred miles across the plains to Lara- 
mie City were traversed without incident, and the desperado was 


lodged at last iu jail — another feather in Mr. Boswell's cap and 
that of the Rocky Mountain detective force. 

Let it be said to the shame of the courts that after all this 
effort to capture Kellj', and after his terrible crime had become 
known throughout the West, he was allowed to go scot free, 
after remaining in jail a few months. He succeeded in buying 
off the witnesses against him and at last got off, though at a 
cost of not less than |37,000. 

Of course, such a man would be expected to die with his 
boots on, and he did, having been shot dead some years ago in 
Texas while in a row there. 



As a rule, the work of detectives and detective associations 
during strikes has been such as to incur the bitterest hatred 
from the strikers, and in nianv cases the condemnation of all 
disinterested citizens. We opine that this has been caused in 
the main by the various associations employing for strike pur- 
poses the very worst thugs and blacklegs that could be found — 
men who desired to see a strike prolonged indefinitely that they 
might have a job, and men who would not hesitate to do any- 
thing that would increase the bitterness existing between the 
employers and the employed. 

As an illustration of this fact, we might call attention to 
the great engineers' strike on the "Q." several years ago. Two 
or three engines had been blown up and much other damage 
had been done, so the officials of the company were led to be- 
lieve, by the strikers. The labor unions of Denver denied this, 
and to completely refute the charges and clear themselves, they 
resolved to employ Gen. I). J. Cook and the Rocky Mountain 
Detective Association, in whom they had implicit confidence, to 
ferret out the real criminals. In a few days Gen. Cook was able 
to report to the unions that they were right, and that the 
deviltry was being done by miscreants in no way connected with 
the strikers. But the greatest services Gen. Cook and the asso- 
ciation have ever rendered for labor unions was done during 
the great Leadville strike in June, 1880. 

How they saved the state of Colorado from eternal disgrace, 
and several hundred of the foremost citizens of Leadville from 


eternal infamy, by nipping in the bud the conspiracy to lynch 
six of the leaders of the Miners' Union, has never been told; 
but it deserves publication as one of the most brilliant achieve- 
ments of Gen. Cook's career. 

It is not our purpose to give here a history of the strike in 
detail, but merely to relate the part played by Gen. Cook, and 
some of his most trusted lieutenants. The Miners' Union, con- 
sisting of several hundred miners, with Michael Mooney at their 
head, had declared a strike about the last of May, and by per- 
suasions and threats soon had nearly every miner in the Lead- 
ville district out. The bitterness increased from day to day, 
and by the 10th of June the excitement had risen to such a 
pitch that nearly everybody in the city had arrayed himself with 
either the union or with those who sympathized with the mine 

Leadville was in a condition of anarchy. There were or- 
ganizations of mine owners and citizens, and organizations of 
miners which were intensely hostile to each other. The bum- 
mers of the city had attached themselves to one party or the 
other, hoping for plunder. It was generally believed that a vig- 
ilance committee had been organized to deal with the leaders of 
the strike. It was known that mine owners had received notices 
from unknown sources threatening their lives. The most intel- 
ligent portion of the community believed that a deadly collision 
was imminent. 

In this condition of affairs the sheriff of the county officially 
notified the governor that he could no longer preserve the peace, 
and called upon him to declare martial law as the only means 
of preventing bloodshed. Gov. F.* W. Pitkin at once responded 
by ordering Gen. Cook to take command, at the same time de- 
claring the city and county under martial law, which step was 
immediately taken. Gen. Cook at once summoned ex-Sheriff 
Peter Becker and Lieut. Matt. Hickman, both of whom are now 
dead, but who were then trusted members of the Rocky Mount- 
ain Detective Association, together with two other members, 
and detailed them to circulate through all the crowds and obtain 
definite information as to what the "Committee of 115" was 
doing. These men soon discovered that there was a plot on foot 


to cause the arrest of Mooney and five other leaders of the strik- 
ers, place them under a guard of militia friendly to the com- 
mittee, and then to take them away and lynch them. 

Gen. Cook at once conferred with Brig. Gen. James, whom 
he knew to be opposed to the proposed lynching, and they agreed 
that at least half of the militia could not be trusted in the mat- 
ter. Gen. Cook then directed Gen. James to choose three com- 
panies that were all right to scour the town and arrest every 
suspicious party. Gen. James chose about 300 out of the 600 
men in the command, taking only the companies that he felt 
could be relied upon, but a large number of whose members, as 
the detectives found out, w^ere members of the committee of 
safety themselves! They went on duty at 8 o'clock, but as a 
matter of course, they failed to find any riotous assemblages. 
After midnight Gen. Cook's detectives reported these facts to 
him, adding that the mob was only waiting for him to retire, 
when they would have their victims j)laced under arrest, and 
placed in charge of militiamen w^ho were in full sympathy with 
the mob. Then, of course, they were to be taken after a slight 
show of resistance and hanged. As soon as Gen. Cook found 
that he could not depend upon the other men, he sent for Capt. 
Murphy and Lieut. Duggan, of the Tabor Tigers, a company 
formed principally of sporting men, who were opposed to hang- 
ing on general principles, arguing that it was something that 
might happen to anybody. On being questioned as to whether 
their men could be trusted to round up the "stranglers" or not. 
Murphy replied: ''Now you're shoutin'. If there's anything in 


the world these boys are dead sore on, it's stranglers." Gen. 
Cook at once ordered the company to report at his headquarters, 
on the double-quick, and upon their arrival directed Capt. Mur- 
phy to divide them into small squads and at once scour the 
town, arresting any group of three or more men they might find, 
no matter, militiamen or civilians. The men departed in all 
directions with a whoop, and in less than an hour the detectives 
reported to Gen. Cook that he could go to bed without the least 
fear of any more trouble, nor was there any. 

As soon as the "Committee of 115" found that Gen. Cook 
had detected their conspiracy, thoy knew in a minute that the 


"stuff was off," and the idea of lynching the strike leaders was 
given up. Gen. Cook soon convinced everybody that he had no 
entangling alliances with either mine owners, citizens or miners. 
He went under instructions to protect all classes from violence 
and to prevent bloodshed. His actions were so impartial and 
his protection -to the communitj^ was so complete, that when on 
the third day after martial law was declared, the governor pro- 
posed to revoke the order, every class of the community appealed 
to him to continue the order in force. More than a hundred of 
the citizens telegraphed imploring him to continue the protec- 
tion for a few days longer. A majority of the city council, with 
the city treasurer, city 'clerk and city marshal, united in the 
same request. The Miners' Union sent him this dispatch: 

"Leadville, Colorado, June 17. 
"Governor F. W. Pitkin: 

"We request you to leave the matter of military law in 
this county in the hands of Major General Cook. It is for the 
best interest of all concerned. 


"Secretary pro tern. 
"Vice Presidents, Union." 

Thus was the danger averted. Dave Cook's cool head and 
strong determination had prevented the riot, and ruin, and blood- 
shed that must certainly have followed the lynching of the strike 
leaders by the infuriated citizens' committee. He had won the 
respect of all classes, and the Miners' Union, seeing that their 
cause was already lost, appealed to him to devise some means 
of settling the strike. He consented, and in a few hours had 
arranged a conference between the miners and their employers, 
at which their differences were satisfactorily adjusted, and the 
great strike was over. 

When Gen. Cook was first appointed to the command of the 
military forces around Leadville, a local paper, the Carbonate 
Chronicle, said, editorially: 

"The man whom Gov. I'itkin has selected to take command 


of the state forces in this county during the reign of martial 
law, needs no introduction to any Coloradoan. Sheriff of the 
capital county for years, he became the best known and most 
prominent official in the state by reason of his able administra- 
tion of his duties, his wonderful detective achievements, and the 
fact that his arrests were made in every quarter. For the past 
ten or fifteen years criminals have felt that if Dave Cook was 
on their trail their escape was hopeless and their fears have 
proven well founded. 

"As an executive officer. Gen. Cook possesses the highest 
ability. His iron will, level head and perfect coolness mark him 
as the one man for chief in this emergency. No matter where 
you see him — at table, desk, on promenade, in the saddle, con- 
fronting Utes or criminals — he is the same calm, quiet, nervy 

''The memorable ride over the range into Middle Park, and 
prompt action in the Ute campaign of last summer, have passed 
into history, and Gen. Cook will ever be remembered with deep- 
est gratitude by the settlers whom he succored so quickly. 

''Leadville may well congratulate herself that the presence 
of such a man has been secured in the commander's saddle in 
this most trying and important ordeal." 

Subsequent events proved that the confidence of the people 
in Gen. Cook's ability was not misplaced, and the prompt and 
decisive settlement of the troubles, added fresh laurels to his 
fame and that of the Rockv Mountain Detective Association. 



John A. Bemis is the name of a young man who must figure 
in this narrative because of his wealiness — because he allowed 
himself to fall into bad habits when he was entrusted with 
money belonging to other people. When the crime was com- 
mitted in the summer of 1877, Bemis was, and is yet if he is 
still living, a young man of good family. His people resided in 
Syracuse, N. Y., whence Bemis started out on one of the Xew 
York railroads as an agent for the American Express company, 
running into New York. As agent for a big carrying enterprise 
running into the nation's financial metropolis, he became the 
custodian of large sums of money, often carrying a million dol- 
lars on a single trip. He was implicitly trusted by the com- 
pany, being a young man whose life was supposed to be sin- 
gularly exemplary, and backed by family connections of the very 
highest order. There were many times that he might have made 
a big haul without taking more than the ordinary risk which 
thieves take. But he seems to have resisted all the more luring 
bait which was thrown out to him, and to have at last been 
tempted by a comparatively small sum. 

As was learned after his arrest by the Rocky Mountain De- 
tective Association, he fell into loose company one day while 
carrying f3,G00 for his company. He was lured into a game of 


peDiiy-ante poker, which assumed, before the game was finished, 
extensive proportions. Having exhausted his own pile, and feel- 
ing chagrined at being beaten, he drew upon the money which 
he held in trust. He did not draw upon the pile ver}' extensively, 
but sufficient!}' to create a deficit which he was unable to make 
good. Finding himself in a corner, fearing to explain his breach 
of trust, and being unable to supply the missing sum himself, 
he decided in an evil moment upon flight, and also concluded 
to carry the residue of the company's money in his possession 
with him. 

This decision once formed, he left his express car at a way 
station, and jumping upon a train coming westward, was off be- 
fore the theft was discovered. 

The company was thunderstruck when the crime was dis- 
covered. The New York papers were full of the details a few 
days afterwards, and the wires carried the report to all sections 
of the country, dwelling upon the young man's family connec- 
tions, the trust which had been reposed in him, and filled with 
surmises as to what could have induced him to take the foolish 
step which he had taken. Soon followed other telegrams and 
posters, the latter carrying portraits of the young fellow, offer- 
ing a reward of $800 for his apprehension. The express company 
detennined upon close jjursuit and the capture and punishment 
of the defaulter, not because they did not respect the feelings of 
his family, but because they felt that he should be made an 
example of. Detectives throughout the eastern states and as 
far west as the Mississippi river were put to work on the case. 
They sought in vain for the fugitive. He was not to be found 
by the most vigilant of the officers who took the trail. 

A month after the robbery, Gen. Cook received a letter from 
Mr. Fargo, president of the express company, giving a descrip- 
tion of the robber, renewing his offer of a reward of |800 for 
his apprehension, and saying there were reasons to believe that 
Bemis had come to Denver. The principal reason urged was 
that Bemis had a cousin here, whose name was given. 

The case was placed in the hands of Detective Arnold by 
Gen. Cook, who was relied upon to do his best work on It. Mr. 
Arnold worked a long time without a clue. The hotel registers 


for a month back were scanned with the keenest scrutiny. They 
were dumb. Not a shadow of a clue was presented. No one 
going by the name of Bemis had registered at any of the hotels 
since the time of the robbery. The cousin was sought out and 
skilfully pumped. He knew nothing, or professed to know noth- 
ing, of his relative. He declared that the young man had not 
been in Denver to his knowledge. This to Mr. Arnold. But 
Arnold soon came to the conclusion that he was not the best 
man to talk with the cousin. Arnold is one of the men who 
believe that there are more ways to accomplish a purpose than 
one. He made himself acquainted with the associates of Bemis' 
€ousin in Denver and set some of them quietly after him. Not 
onlv the man's male friends, but some of his female friends were 
set to work. This ruse was at last successful. The cousin at 
last told one of these sub-detectives that his cousin had been in 
Denver; that while here he had gone by the name of James 
Walker, by which name he had registered at the American house, 
but that he had taken his departure some time previous. The 
kinsman professed to know nothing of the course Bemis had 
taken, leaving the detectives almost as much in the dark as 
they were before. 

Having the Denver name of the man, they were enabled to 
ascertain something of his conduct while in Denver, to pick up 
information as to his habits, and to get a minute description of 
him. They found that he had been "one of the boys;" inclined 
to be a little loose and reckless, and considerably addicted to 
card playing. While still looking about for information as to 
the direction the man had taken, they received a note one day 
from Mr. Nat Hickman, who at that time was a confidential agent 
of the association, dated at Santa Fe, N. M., and telling them 
that there was a young stranger in that city going by the name 
of John L. Jerome, whose actions were quite mysterious. Hick- 
man was a shrewd observer of human nature. He knew of no 
charges against the man concerning whom he had written to 
headquarters, but merely inferred from the fellow's conduct that 
he was a fugitive from justice, and considered it probable that 
if he was such. Gen. Cook would know something about him. 


After reading the letter, Mr. Cook handed it over to Mr. Arnold, 
with the remark: 

"There's yoMV rnan." 

To which Arnold replied, more forcibly than elegantly: 

"Bemis, begad." 

After taking some preliminary steps, such as the procuring 
of a requisition for the arrest of the man, Arnold was off for 
Santa Fe. There was no doubt of his identity after getting 
Hickman's description of the party. 

In those days a trip to Santa Fe was not so easily made as 
now. Trains ran only to Trinidad, in Colorado, rendering it 
necessary that the traveler should make the rest of the journey 
of over two hundred miles on stage coach, which was not a very 
pleasant undertaking, considering that the roads were bad; that 
almost the entire population was Mexican, and road agents were 
both numerous and persistent. But these were obstacles which 
did not stand in the way of the Rocky Mountain Detective Asso- 
ciation. So Mr. Arnold was off for Santa Fe, the ancient capital 
of New Mexico, in search of John A. Bemis, alias James Walker, 
alias John L. Jerome. 

The southward trip was devoid of incident. There was a 
long and hard ride. Santa Fe was then further from Denver, 
considering the time necessary for the trip, than Chicago, and 
the ride was a far more trying one. But Joe Arnold is not 
vevj delicate!}' organized, and he landed in Santa Fe "right side 
up with care." 

Arriving late in the evening, he went to the principal hotel — 
the Exchange — and was soon in possession of evidence which 
made it absolutely certain that the John L. Jerome, of Santa Fe, 
was the John A. Bemis, of Syracuse. Arnold had registered as 
"W. F. Smith, Salt Lake City," that his arrival might create 
no suspicion in Bemis' mind in case he should glance over the 
hotel register. 

Being sure of the presence of his man, Mr. Arnold next 
went to work to find the governor, and to get him to honor his 
requisition. This was a work which consumed a greater part 
of the night after Arnold's arrival, and morning came on soon 
after he had finished the preparation for the arrest. Having 

T. JEFF. CARR, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 


everyth'mg in readiness to spring his trap, he set out to find his 
game. It began now to look as if the detective had had all 
his trouble for nothing. He waited patientl}^ about the hotel 
for Beniis to put in an appearance. He watched the breakfast 
hall carefully, supposing that his man would come in to get 
something to eat. Breakfast finally being over, Arnold wan- 
dered about the town during the forenoon, with the hope of get- 
ting a glimpse of his man. But his vigilance was not rewarded 
by the least trace of him. He was not to be seen anywhere. 
Going back to the hotel when the dinner hour approached, he 
again kept close watch upon the dining room. This time, as 
before, no Bemis made his appearance. Arnold was beginning 
to fear that the fellow had sjjotted him and given him the slip. 
But he resolved to put in the day in his search. Accordingly 
his investigations were continued during the afternoon. But 
still no Bemis, 

The supper hour had come on and had nearly parsed. Arnold 
had kept an eagle eye upon the room. His man had not gone 
in. Finally he w'andered into the billiard hall, which was then 
but dimly lighted, and was unoccupied except by Arnold. 
Throwing himself down in a chair, the detective was preparing 
for a little meditative spell to decide what course to pursue, 
when a footstep fell upon his ear. Looking up he saw that a 
man had entered the door, opposite him. A second glance told 
him that the newcomer was none other than Bemis. Sitting 
still until the stranger approached quite close to him, Arnold 
then got up and advanced to meet the man. speaking to him 
when he had approached very near him : 

"Mr. Bemis, I believe?'' 

The man did not appear startled or especially confused. He 
seemed to have been expecting to be overtaken. 

"Bemis — yes, that's ni}- name, and you are an officer come 
for me?" 

Mr. Arnold told him that he had made a very good guess. 

"I knew it. I am glad of it. I am ready and anxious to 

go with you. I want to get out of this hole, and I am tired of 

skulking about. I would rather a thousand times over go back 

home and meet all my old-time friends, explain all to them and 



go to prison, than to go hiding about the country all my life. I 
could not stand it much longer. So I am glad that you have 
come. You need fear no resistance from me." 

Arnold took his prisoner to his own room, where the fellow 
continued his talk in the above strain for some time. It was 
not long before the detective discovered another interesting 
feature of the story. In answer to Arnold's inquiries as to 
where Bemis had been during the day, he stated that when he 
had gone to Santa Fe he still retained the bulk of the money 
which he had stolen, and believing that he had found a place 
to which detective vigilance would not extend, he had decided 
to settle down and go into business. He had determined to buy 
a cigar store, and had closed the contract, nothing remaining to 
be done but to pay over the money. He had, soon after going 
to his hotel, left his money for deposit in the safe, the proprietor 
of the house being aware of the amount which he had. This 
same individual, it seems, had become anxious to possess the 
roll himself, and while he was not courageous enough to steal 
it outright, as Bemis had done, he hit upon another plan, which 
was just as effectual and far more safe. He had discovered 
Bemis' propensity for cards, and finding that the money was 
about to slip out of his grasp into the hands of the then owner 
of the cigar store, he proposed to Bemis that they have a quiet 
game of poker. 

Nothing was more to the liking of the Syracuse man. He 
was willing. These two men and a pair of accomplices of the 
hotel proprietor were playing poker while Arnold w^as getting 
his requisition papers into shape on the night of his arrival. The 
game at first ran along very smoothly. There was little excite- 
ment for a long while. There was plenty to drink, and there 
was a supply of good cigars. The game appeared to be purely 
social. The bets were small. There was a general good time, 
and the entire crowd appeared to be quite "mellow" when the 
wee sma' hours came on. It was not a matter of appearance 
with Bemis. He drank too much. Finding the young man in 
good shape, his ''friends" began to tighten the screws. They 
had determined to get his money before the night should pass, 


and about 2 o'clock in the morning prepared to put their pU\ns 
into execution. 

It was the landlord's deal. As he pushed out the ante, 
one of his accomplices said to Bemis: 

"Go a dollar blind." 

''AH right," said the now thoroughh- excited young man, 
and shoved out the chip representing that amount. 

The cards were dealt slowly. The first that fell to Bemis 
was an ace, and a gleam of gratification passed over his face. 
His countenance fell as a ten followed, but when another ten, 
and another, dropped, it was easily seen how much pleasure 
he took in the contemplation of the little pieces of cardboard. 
The landlord saw the blind and raised it five dollars. Bemis 
followed with a raise of ten dollars, which was promptly re- 
sponded to by a raise of a like sum on the part of the landlord. 
Bemis raised it twenty dollars, and the landlord simply covered 
the raise. 

''I'll take two cards," said Bemis. 

"That's about what I want, myself," responded the landlord. 

The cards were dealt, and after a careless glance at the draw, 
Bemis laid his hand down on the table and bet fifty dollars. 

"I'll raise you fifty," was the response. 

"That lets me out," said one of the other players. 

"Here, too," said the second accomplice. 

"See your fifty and go a hundred better," exclaimed Bemis. 

"We'll play for two hundred," exclaimed the landlord. 

Bemis was now thoroughly excited, and the bystanders, ac- 
customed as they were to high play, began to draw nearer to the 
contestants, and display an unusual interest in the game. 

"Will you stand a raise?" asked Bemis, with an air of con- 
fident good humor. 

"Try it and find out," replied the landlord, while a close 
observer could not have failed to note the air of conscious tri- 
umph in his manner, so outwardly imperturbable. 

"I'll raise you five hundred dollars, then," said Bemis. 

"I'll go you another five hundred," was the answer. 

"See here," said Bemis; "I've got the boss hand, but I don't 
want to win vour monev. I'll raise it a thousand dollars." 


"I'll see that and raise it another thousand," came in the 
coolest terms from his antagonist; but immediately added, as he 
remembered the fact that Bemis' bets now covered nearly all 
his capital: '*No, I won't either. It would be robbery to keep 
on betting with you. I'll^st call you." 

"Four TensT' called Bemis, stretching out his hand to take 
in the stakes, with a smile. 

"Hold on a minute," exclaimed the landlord. "That's a 
boss hand, ordinarily, but it don't win this time;" and he laid 
down four kings. 

"Four Kings!" exclaimed Bemis. "My God!" 

Thus Bemis, a fugitive from justice and a long way from 
home, was "dead broke." The game was,vabruptly ended. He 
had no more money, could borrow none, and must quit. He 
wandered out into the dark shadows of the adobe houses, and 
the thoughts which came to him were quite strong enough to 
sober him off. Here was, indeed, a pretty kettle of fish, and 
Bemis told Arnold that so great was his anguish that he had 
almost determined to free himself from it by committing suicide. 
Better counsel, however, prevailed, and he decided not only not 
to take his own life, but to make; an effort to get back home, 
and when once arrived there, to surrender himself to the au- 

He went to the hotel determined to go to bed and try to 
sleep the remainder of the night. But he was met at the counter 
by a refusal on the part of the clerk to turn over the keys of his 
room. He was then informed that he had not paid his bill, and 
that as he Iiad no money he could get no further accommodations 
there. Thus was he robbed and turned loose penniless and to 
be persecuted by the man who had robbed him. He spent the 
remainder of the night walking about and thinking over his situ- 
ation. He had not gone to the hotel for breakfast, because he 
had been forbidden to again enter the house. For the same 
reason he had gone without his dinner; but finding himself very 
hungry when supper time came on, he had decided to make an 
effort to steal in and get something to eat. This resolve he was 
trying to put into execution when he met Arnold and was ar- 


The fellow was really suffering from a fear that his life was 
not safe. In those days they could arrest and imprison a man 
for debt in New Mexico. He was satisfied that his late "host" 
would be only too glad to dispose of him in that way to get his 
mouth closed, and so informed Arnold. 

Of course the officer promised every protection, and the 
promise had hardly been made before he was afforded an oppor- 
tunity to fulfill it. The door of the room had been locked by 
the officer when he had entered with his prisoner. The story 
above related had hardly been finished when there came a loud 
rap on the door, in resi)onse to which Arnold demanded to know 
who was there. 

''The proprietor of the house," was the response. 

''What do you want?" 

"I want Jerome," giving the name by which Bemis had gone 
in Santa Fe. 

"Well, you can't have him." 

A long parley ensued, but Arnold steadfastly declined to 
allow the hotel man to enter or to surrender Bemis to him. The 
fellow went away swearing vengeance. When he was well gone, 
Arnold began barring the door more securely than had been 
done before, and handing Bemis a pistol, told him to defend him- 
self with it in case it should become necessary for him to do so, 
saying as he did so: 

"He will come back with reinforcements, and if they get 
you I would not give much for your hide." 

Sure enough, the man did return, and with a body of men. 
They began to pound upon the door, but were met by Arnold 
with the assurance that the first man that entered would be shot 
down in his tracks. This defiance had the effect of cooling the 
ardor of the besiegers. They remained about the door all night, 
however, so that Arnold and Bemis were compelled to remain 
awake with their weapons in hand during the long night that 
followed, for it was a long night to both of them. Both had 
been exposed to great hardships and were fatigued. Arnold had 
been a night in the stage coming down. The next night he had 
devoted to his papers. Bemis' experience has been described. 


But they had another night before them, and nothing was left 
to them but to make the best of it. 

At last morning came. The stage was to start a 6 o'clock. 
The}' must get off on that stage or all was lost. Accordingly a 
few minutes before 6 the two men unbarred the door of their 
prison and walked out with their pistols in their hands. 

The besiegers had disappeared. The stage was in waiting^ 
near the hotel. Arnold and his prisoner jumped in. As they 
did so, the landlord came up, and as he demanded his pay, struck 
at Bemis. 

The stage driver had seen the row coming on, and having^ 
exclaimed, '^ Jerusalem! it's after 6, and I am off!'' had made a 
sudden start, which left the irate poker player standing alone^ 
while Arnold and his prisoner were off for Denver. 

This was a triumph, to be sure, but all was not yet over. 
The stage passed rapidly on to Las Vegas without incident. 
Arriving at that place it was stopped by a well-armed Mexican^ 


who was followed by a dozen determined looking fellows, all 
evidently well heeled. Arnold had taken a seat by the driver's 
side. The Mexican stated that he was the sheriff of the county, 
and said he had received a dispatch from Santa Fe, directing^ 
him to arrest one John Jerome, who was on the stage in charge 
of an officer named Smith, from Salt Lake City, on a capias. 
Arnold at once came to the front, and making himself spokes- 
man for the stage partly passed the question around to every pas- 
senger on the coach: 

"Is your name Smith?'' "Your name Jerome?" etc. 

All answered no. "Must be a mistake," said Joe. "My 
name is Arnold; I am an officer from Denver, and I have a pris- 
oner here named Bemis, but of course we are not the people 
you want." He then showed his papers, which confiniied his 

"Oh, naw," replied the sheriff" in broken English; "ve vant 
Smeet — no vant you." 

Mr. Arnold then volunteered the infonnation that he had 
heard in Santa Fe of some trouble of the character described 
about a prisoner, but thought it probable that the fellow had 
evaded the officers and would be along on the next coach, which 


the sheriff also considered a phuisible theory, and allowed Arnold 
and Bemis to pass on. The reader will see that the wrong 
names had been telegraphed. The Santa Fe officials had con- 
sulted the hotel register and not the territorial books for the 

At Cimarron, the next station of importance, Arnold ex- 
pected to have trouble, and determined to avoid it this time by 
not meeting it. Consequently he bought a quart bottle of 
whisky at Kayada, a few miles south of Cimarron, and present- 
ing it to the driver, got off the coach with Bemis before the 
town was reached, requesting the driver in case they were asked 
for to state that they had left the coach, and promising to join 
the stage after the town should be passed. The Jehu promised 
compliance, but there was no demand for either the officer or 
his man. They jumped the coach per agreement, and were 
landed in Trinidad without further incident. 

Bemis was sent back to Syracuse, where he pleaded guilty 
and threw himself upon the mercy of the court. Even the ex- 
press company officials pleaded for clemency. Hence he was let 
off with a sentence of but eighteen months in the penitentiary. 
He should long remember Detective Arnold as his best friend. 




As a rule officers of the law are careful of the lives and gen- 
eral safety of their prisoners, often taking great risk upon them- 
selves to protect the unfortunates who may chance to fall into 
their hands. Yet they are occasionally compelled to resort to 
violence to protect themselves or to prevent the escape of crim- 
inals from their custody. Sometimes the officer brings his man 
down, and occasionally death is the result. 

A man giving the name of John Doen became a victim to 
a fate of this kind in Cheyenne, in the summer of 1876. Doen 
was a deserter from the army, who had for several years been 
engaged in herding cattle on the plains, and he had accumulated 
some cattle of his own. He appears to have been naturally pre- 
disposed to rascality, and one night he happened along by the 
premises of Rufus Clark, residing near Denver, and seeing a 
good looking horse, he laid his hands upon him and rode him 
off. Mr. Clark brought the information of the disappearance of 
the animal to Detective Cook, and asked him to bring the skill 
of his association to bear in returning the animal to him. He 
was able to give no clue, either as to the appearance of the thief, 
or the route he had taken. After brief investigation of the mat- 
ter. Gen. Cook decided in his own mind that the horse and the 
thief had gone in the direction of Cheyenne, and he determined 
to notify his assistant superintendent at that place, Mr. T. Jeff 
Carr, to be on the lookout for the pair. There was not a long 
waiting. Carr received the notification at 9 o'clock in the morn- 


ing, Jind at 10 the same forenoon the thief rode into town with 
the animal, as Carr learned by a visit to the livery stable kept 
by a Mr. Jeffrey. Doen had jjut the horse up at the stable, and 
had stated that he meant to have him sold at auction that after- 
noon. The animal answered the description which Cook had 
sent, to perfection, and Carr determined to lose no time in tak- 
ing possession of him and in getting the thief. Hence he pro- 
cured the services of an assistant detective, Mr. Clark Devoe, 
also of the Kocky Mountain Association, and they laid a plan to 
capture the thief at the same time that they should take the 
horse. This was to lure Doen to the stable, and this project 
was accomplished by getting the liveryman to send for Doen and 
tell him that there was a man who wanted to buy his horse im- 
mediately, and that it would be well for him to repair to the 
stable and put the animal up for sale. 

The plan worked. Doen soon put in an appearance. He 
found Carr and Devoe awaiting his arrival. The animal was 
accordingly put up, and a mock auction was gone through with. 
The horse was knocked down to Carr, and he requested a bill 
of sale, which was made out and signed by Doen, giving a de- 
scription of the horse. Having procured this, Carr said: 

"I think the description you have just given me corresponds 
exactly with the one I received this morning of a horse stolen 
from Denver." 

Doen seemed confused, and his confusion increased as Carr 
read the description from Denver, and his attempted explana- 
tions were a series of contradictions. Noticing the fellow's em- 
barrassment, Devoe stepped up, and, laying his hand upon 
Doen's shoulder, said : 

''I guess this thing has gone about far enough. You are 
in possession of a stolen horse, and I think you are the thief. 
I arrest you." 

Doen made no resistance and said nothing. He seemed in- 
clined to make the best of a bad job, and the officers began to 
congratulate themselves that they had disposed of a disagreeable 
duty with but little trouble. They started off to the city jail 
with their man, and were proceeding leisurely along Eddy street, 
the prisoner being some eight or ten feet in advance of them. 


Having gained so much upon the detectives, the fellow started 
to run, and broke out suddenly for liberty. The officers started 
in pursuit, crying to the man to stop or be shot. But he paid 
no heed to their warning. Two shots were then fired into the 
air to frighten him into a surrender, but they had no more effect 
than the volley of words. Doen only ran the faster, and was 
gaining upon his pursuers all the time. It became apparent 
that he was in a fair way to make an effectual escape, and the 
officers increased their speed. Still the thief kept in advance. 
When he reached a point back of Kecreation hall he placed his 
hands upon a high board fence and began to clamber over. 
When he reached the top of the fence he drew a pistol and' 
leveled it at the officers. "Shoot him," said Carr to Devoe. The 
officer sent a bullet whizzing through the air just as the fugitive 
fired. Wlien the smoke cleared away Doen had disappeared 
from the fence. He was supposed to have continued his flight, 
and the officers had begun to fear that they had lost their prize. 
But in this supposition they were mistaken. When they came 
up to the fence they heard moans on the opposite side, and 
glancing over saw their prisoner lying on the ground, and the 
blood running from his wounds. He still held his pistol firmly, 
and showed more disposition to fight than ever. 
• "Throw away your pistol," said Carr to him. 

"I won't," was the reply. "I will fight to the last." 

"Throw that pistol down, I tell you," again Carr com- 
manded, as he drew a bead on the fellow's forehead. "Will you 
put it down now?" 

The thief relinquished the weapon reluctantly. 

While Carr was examining the wounds, Devoe came up, and 
not noticing the pistol as it lay on the ground, stepped upon it 
and caused it to explode, creating a report which startled both 
prisoner and detectives but did no other damage. 

Doen was taken to the jail and his wounds examined. They 
were at first pronounced not necessarily mortal, but a closer 
examination revealed the fact that the bullet had entered the 
small of the back and passed into the abdomen, causing internal 
hemorrhage, which resulted in death about ten hours after the 


Before he died, Doen stated that he was a native of Pennsyl- 
vania, and that his real name was Edward W. Myers. He made 
no confession, however, and continued to the last to tell con- 
flicting stories about the affair. He was a desperate man, and 
would undoubtedly have killed the officers if he could have done 
so. The Cheyenne Sun the next morning said: 

"The unanimous sentiment of the communitv, so far as we 
are able to learn, is that Officer Devoe was perfectly justifiable, 
under the circumstances, and that he didn't shoot the fellow a 
minute too soon. Nine out of ten men would not have exhibited 
half the leniency that these officers did on that occasion. This 
arrest is one more of the many evidences of the efficiency of the 
Rocky Mountain Detective Association. Within ninety minutes 
after receiving Sheriff Cook's letter the criminal was in the 
county jail. Doen is said to be a deserter from the regular 
army, and he has visited Cheyenne several times before, and al- 
ways as a dealer in horse flesh. That he belongs to a regularly 
organized band of horse thieves there is little doubt." 



Bill White's caveer iu Colorado was biief. It was cut short 
hy an accident which he could not control. Bill made his advent 
in Denver in the spring of 1872, and he might have been here 
yet it he had behaved himself properly, and to the fact that he 
did not deport himself well is the origin of the pictures herewith 
presented due, and if used as a i)air of chromos might be called, 
and not inaptly, ''Before and After Taking." He came from 
Chicago to Denver, but was originally from Montreal and was a 
well known Canada crook. 

A great many of the Denver people were away from home 
when White made his advent into our societ3\ They were at- 
tending a jollification at Pueblo which followed the completion 
of the Denver and Kio Grande road to that point. Many of the 
oflicers were absent, and White conceived it an excellent oppor- 
tunity to get in his work. He had come to Denver from Canada, 
and was accompanied by a Kansas City man named Larnigan, 
who was known throughout the Missouri valley as "Handsome" 
Larnigan. They put up at the ]5roadwell house, a hotel kept in 
what is now known simply as the Broadwell block, on Larimer 
street, back of the Tabor block, and there began to ply their 
game. White's role was that of the invalid. He put plasters 
and liver pads all over him, and affected the Camille cough. He 
was a man of good ai)pearance, and never had the least difficulty 
in winning the good will of people with whom he came in cou- 
tacL Hence it was that when it came to be known tluit, on the 
night when so many were absent at Pueblo on pleasure, a 


boai'dei- at the hotel had been robbed of a very fine watch val- 
ued at |700 and f'iOO in currency, no one suspected White, until 
Gen. D. J. Cook, of the Rocky Mountain Detective Agency, was 
consulted, and had spotted him and Larnigan as the thieves. 

When the case was put in Cook's hands he went to work 
without a clue, but in less than a day had satisfied himself that 
the guilt lay with these men. He accordingly proceeded to ar- 
rest the pair and to lock them up. But they had observed the 
attention that the detective was paying to their movements, and 
had "unloaded" when they were taken. The crime could not be 
proved against them, although Gen. Cook was satisfied of their 
guilt, and he was comj)elled to let them go. He, however, 
wai'ned them that they must get out of town. "I know you are 
crooks," he said to them, "and although I have failed now, it 
is only a matter of time when I shall get you if you stay here. 
So you had better skip." They were liberated after this warn- 
ing. White concluded to take Gen. Cook's advice and to leave 
town, but Larnigan remained behind. 

White went from Denver to Pueblo, and was not long in 
justifying Gen. Cook's prophesy that he would get into trouble. 
Arriving in Pueblo, White took rooms at the National, the best 
hotel of the place, and was soon as familiar with the people 
there as he had been with those in Denver. He was a man of 
slight stature, and he played the invalid dodge there just as he 
had done in Denver. He put himself on good terms with the 
ladies, many of whom about the hotel had been anxious to do 
whatever they could do for ''the poor fellow." He was invited 
to the rooms of individuals in the hotel, and in fact was the 
pet of the house. Mr. White was thought to be anything else 
besides a thief. He had told the good people that his father 
had been a minister of the gospel in Canada, and he carried a 
gilt-edged Bible, the parting gift of his dear mother, he said. 

When out with the boys, however. White was a very dif- 
ferent sort of fellow. He was one of them. He appeared to 
be of a very affectionate and confiding disposition, but the most 
striking peculiarity about the young man was that he always 
appeared to be thoroughly and completely drunk. We say ap- 
peared to be, for with all our inquiries, we have yet to find the 



first one who actually saw him take a drink. Be this as it may, 
to the outsider the young man went to bed drunk at night, and 
got up drunk in the morning. He staggered at 9 o'clock. He 
clung to the telegraph pole at 10 o'clock. He rolled in the gut- 
ter at 12, and would be carted off to his room, blubbering mean- 
while to tliose who towed along his worthless carcass, and tell- 
ing how much he loved them. After the Pueblo robber}- it was 
suspected that the young man had been "playing it on the boj^s." 
It was then believed that he was not as drunk as he had pre- 
tended to be. 

One morning it was discovered that during the previous 
night several rooms in the hotel had been entered and robbed 
of sums of money ranging all the way from five cents to |300, 
and of numerous watches and other valuable articles. It was 
ascertained that at about 2 o'clock the niglit previous some 
audacious thief had entered a bedroom containing two beds, in 
which reposed Gen. R. M. Stevenson, B. C. Leonard, one of 
the proprietors of the hotel, George Schick, and another man 
sleeping with Stevenson, whose name is unknoAvn. In accord- 
ance with the usual custom, the door of the room had been left 
unlocked, and the burglar had an easy job, going through the 
sleepers in detail. Schick upon retiring had placed his clothes 
under the pillow. In his pocket ticked a gold repeater of ex- 
quisite workmanship, w^orth, with the chain, at least |300, while 
in the fob pocket of his pantaloons were two |100 bills. When 
he awoke in the morning he found his clothes precisely as he 
had placed them, not disturbed in the least, but his watch and 
money were gone. His exclamation of surprise awoke the others, 
and they commenced searching with varying results. Leonard 
found himself out a five-cent nickel and a few pool checks. Gen. 
Stevenson missed between four and five dollars in currency, while 
his room mate bewailed the loss of |15. Messrs. John and Cal. 
Peabody, who occupied a room over Jordan's store, in the Conley 
block, were the next victims. The door of their room was locked, 
with the key inside, but the cracksmen turned this by means 
of nippers and walked in. Cal's pocketbook, containing |!142 in 
cash, was soon rifled, and a watch and chain, belonging to John 
Peabody, of uo great value, taken. The pocketbook was found 


on the street corner in the morning, with nothing inside but a 
few papers. The room adjoining Mr. Peabody's was occupied 
bj Mrs. Snyder, a milliner, and the thief was ungallant enough 
to enter this and rob the slumbering lady of her gold watch and 
chain, valued at $125. Mr. George Perkins, a furniture dealer, 
was also visited and robbed of a watch and |300 in money. 

Of course, the town was in an uproar, for Pueblo was not 
then so pretentious a place as it now is, and it did not take so 
long for news to travel all over the city. Officers were put to 
work. In a few hours the fact was developed that White, the 
poijular invalid, was nowhere to be found. Zach Allen — who 
has since been killed, poor fellow! — was then sheriff of Pueblo 
county, and he became convinced that White had been guilty 
of the robbery. When he let a few words drop to that effect 
the announcement was met with loud protestations on the part 
of the ladies. They pooh-poohed the idea. Yet evidence accumu- 
lated to fasten the guilt upon White, and Allen determined to 
arrest him. But where to find him? That was the important 
question. He was not in Pueblo; that was certain. Mr. Allen 
decided to send the following telegram: 

To D. J. Cook, Superintendent Rocky Mountain Detective Asso- 
ciation, Denver: 

Be on lookout for man named White, who has stolen watches 
and other valuables. Has a friend in Denver named Larnigan. 
(Signed) • ALLEN, Sheriff. 



The telegram (j noted at the close of the last chapter was- 
"nuts" for Cook, lie knew his man. Taking W. A, Smith — 
then an honored member and assistant superintendent of the- 
association — with him, they started out in their search. They 
learned at the depot that a freight train had come in from Pueblo 
an hour before, and that it carried a passenger bearing the de- 
scription of White. They had from the first kept close track of 
Larnigan, and knew his haunts. They knew further that White 
was most likely to join his pal immediately upon his arrival, 
in Denver, and they started forthwith to search for them both 
at a joint ten-pin alley and saloon on Holladay street kept by 
one Green, which Larnigan was known to frequent. Thithei- 
they went, and throwing open the door to the establishment 
suddenly, they walked in. Sure enough, there stood their men- 
before them. The room contained some half a dozen other men, 
but these two were nearest the door, and they were engaged in- 
earnest conversation when the officers entered. White was stand- 
ing with his back to the door which Larnigan was facing. Be- 
fore the latter had had time to notify his pal of the entrance of 
Hie officers, which he had observed. Cook had stepped rapidly 
forward and laid a heavy hand upon the shoulder of TN'hite,. 
[)ulling him around so as to face him. 

As may be imagined, a s(;ene followed. Everybody was^ 
astonished, and all in the room rushed forward to the assistance 
of White. The officers had stirred up a hornet's nest. All was. 
buzz and bustle. 

"What is wanted?" demanded White. 





"Guess you are mistaken; I am uot your man." 

"We'll see about that." 

"Where's your warrant?" 

Just then Larnlgan jumped forward and thrust his hand into 
White's pocket, where it was to be naturally supposed White 
carried a pistol. 

"Draw on him!" said Cook to Smith. 

Promptly as clockwork out came Bill Smitirs revolver. 
"Shall I shooL the s of a b ?" he asked. 

"Yes, shoot him dead if he makes a move." 

Cook himself wore a tight-lacing military jacket at that time 
over his jpistol pocket and was delayed in getting out his own 
gun. The crowd was disposed to take advantage of this state 
of affairs and to assist W^hite and Larnigan out of their awkward 
predicament. The barkeeper started for his pistol which was 
lying on a convenient shelf, and the crowd rushed forward for 
the purpose of cutting off the retreat of the officers with their 
prisoner. Dave Cook's blood was thoroughly aroused at this 
spectacle, and Bill Smith stood with teeth set as if to defy the 
entire gang. Still holding his prisoner with his right hand, 
Dave tore his coat open with his left, sending his military but- 
tons flying with a bound in all directions. In an instant the 
barkeeper was covered by Dave, who still held on to his pris- 
oner with his right hand. The crowd was still in an instant. 

"Throw up your hands!" commanded Gen. Cook. "Every 
one of you!" 

When Dave Cook gives a command under such circum- 
stances as these, those who hear it obey it. A dozen hands flew 
instaneously into the air. The victory was complete. The cap- 
ture was made. 

"Now search him," he said to Smith, while he himself held 
his pistol over the thoroughly awed crowd. The first pocket 
into which Smith thrust his hand yielded up a paid of burglar's 
nippers and five stolen watches. 

"Do you want to see our warrant now?" demanded Cook. 


"No," replied White quite demurely, "I guess you've got 
proof enough. But," he added, ''don't take me to Pueblo; they'll 
hang me sure." 

With this the officers marched out of the saloon with their 
prisoner, and he was soon securely locked up in jail and all the 
stolen property recovered in less than an hour's time after the 
first information of the Pueblo burglaries was received. 

The next morning Gen. Cook started to Pueblo with his 
prisoner, who was greatly frightened at the idea of going back 
to face the wrath of those whose confidence he had so grossly 

"They'll hang me; they'll hang me. I know they will." 
Thus he pleaded. 

"Well," replied Cook, "you'll doubtless deserve it. Didn't 
I tell you if you didn't get out of this country, and keep out, I 
would overtake you? Haven't I been as good as my word? 
There is nothing left for you but to go back and stand trial. 
I'll protect you while you are in my keeping. Of that you may 
rest assured." 

Engaged in such conversation as this they journeyed on 
down the narrow gauge — then the baby road, indeed — to Pueblo. 
They met only a slight demonstration there, and officer and pris- 
oner were encouraged to believe that all apprehensions of vio- 
lence had been unfounded. White was turned over to the jailer 
and was locked up. No unusual demonstrations were made, 
and after remaining at the x>rison for a little while and observ- 
ing that all was quiet. Gen. Cook withdrew. 

The next day the preliminary examination of the prisoner 
took place before Justice Hart, and resulted in his being bound 
over, on seven separate indictments, for burglary, larceny, etc., 
in the sum of $8,500, to appear for trial. He was remanded back 
to jail. 

Gen. Cook was detained as a witness, and was thus com- 
pelled to remain over two nights in Pueblo. 

The evening of the second night he spent with several 
friends, including Sheriff Allen. 

He was absent from his hotel until about 12 o'clock, and 
was just returning to it in company with Allen, when the some- 


what notorious ''Hoodoo" Brown rushed up, with the exclama- 

"There's hell to paj^ at the jail!" 

Gathering an idea of the situation in an instant. Cook and 
Allen were off for the jail. That institution was half a mile 
distant, but they ran every step of the way, and rushed in just 
in time to find one of the guards at the jail untying the other. 

"Just got loose," he muttered. "They came in, about 
twenty of 'em, with guns and pistols, overpowered us, took us 
completely by surprise, tied us here, got the keys, marched into 
White's room. There was one big man in the crowd. He looked 
seven feet high. Why. he just went up to White — White's a 
little fellow, you know — and he seemed to be moaning and cry- 
ing, and he just picked him right up — he had gone to bed — and 
said : 'Come to me arms, me baby,' and carried him out, his bare 
feet dangling down to the big man's knees. Oh, it was awful, 
sir. I guess they hung him." 

Recovering himself somewhat, the speaker explained brietiy 
all he knew about the transaction. He said that his name was 
Redfield. and that he was the jailer, and that he was sleeping 
in the jail, having retired about 10 o'clock p. m. He was 
iiwakened by the assistant jailer, A. W. Briggs, who told him 
there was a mob outside. Redfield went to the door and asked, 
''Who's there?" when a voice replied, "Zach Allen, the sheriff; 
let us in." Not doubting but that the voice he had heard was 
Mr. Allen's, and supposing that he had a prisoner, Mr. Redfield 
turned the key of the door and opened it, when a number of men 
rushed in dressed in calico and masked, and in a moment the 
jail was in possession of the mob. Their first act was to bind 
Redfield and his assistant, hand and foot; leaving them gagged 
and helpless on the floor. One of the men stooped over and 
hissed in the ear of Briggs : 

''Lie still and you shan't be hurt, but give the alarm and 111 
blow your brains out I" 

After leaving Redfied and Briggs, the mob started for 
White's cell, the key of which they seemed to find without any 
trouble. They walked White out with his shackles on. When 
the miserable man reached the front entrance, and fully compre- 


hended the terrible fate soon to be visited upon him, lie turned 
around and desired time to pray, but this request was sternly 
denied. He was picked up by one of the party and taken out 
in the darkness, the stern avengers closed around him in a solid 
mass, the word "forward" was given, and that was the last 
ever seen of White alive. 

The officers listened to this narrative with imijatience, and 
when it had been finished, asked to know the way the mob had 
gone. The man jjointed in the direction of a telegraph pole a 
hundred yards away, and Cook and Allen started towards it. 

The sight which met their gaze is described in the full-page 
cut accompanying this chapter. The gentleman who hangs limp 
from the telegraph pole, with his bare toes reaching for terra 
firma, is the late Mr. White. The vigilantes have done their 
work and have departed. They are nowhere to be seen. White 
is gone beyond the hope of recovery, and nothing is left but to 
cut him down and bury him. 

But White was not unaccompanied to his last resting place. 
His jail guard, Briggs, follow^ed close upon his heels. He had 
lived to confirm Mr. Redfield's story of the jail delivery, as above 
related. He was subject to heart disease. The excitement had 
been too much for him, and the next morning he fell to the floor 
a corpse. 

So there were two burials in Pueblo the next day, and 
people said of one death, "It was deserved;" of the other, "It 
was an accident; poor fellow!" Such, in brief, were the public 
funeral orations passed upon the two. There was a sigh for one. 
There was no sigh for the other. So passes the world away. 
It is the fortune of the detective to see death as well as life 
sharply contrasted at times. 

When Cook returned to Denver he found that Larnigan had 
disappeared. He had received the news from Pueblo. He took 
the hint and left, and has never since been seen in Colorado. 




The murder of August Gallinger, alias ''Cheap John," cre- 
ated a sensation in Denver in the latter part of the year 1866, 
which for a long while engaged the public attention. Mr. Gal- 
linger kept a small store on the corner of Twelfth and Blake 
streets, and lived alone over the store in a small room. He had 
been a member of the Third Colorado regiment, enlisted for a 
hundred days, and had taken part in the Sand Creek fight. He 
was quite popular, and although a street peddler, he did a 
thriving business. He lived in plain style, and was supposed 
by some to be a miser. This impression it was which led to his 

The assault occurred on the night of December 15, 1866. 
Gen. Cook had been elected city marshal of Denver for the first 
time a few months previous. On the night of the occurrence 
he was passing across the Blake street bridge from Denver to 
West Denver, accompanied b}^ another officer. They were walk- 
ing leisurely along, when they heard something fall, creating a 
loud noise. Cook immediately formed the conclusion that some- 
thing wrong had happened, and he and his companion started in 
the direction of the point from which the noise had come, and 
it appeared to be in John's house. There was no one below, 
hence the officers rushed up stairs. It was about 9 o'clock in 
the evening, and as there were no artificial lights in the house, 
they found the place quite dark. As they went up .the front 


steps they thought they heard some one descending the rear 
steps, but as they at that time did not know what had happened, 
they passed on into John's room, and did not pursue the party 
who was leaving the house. 

Reaching Mr. Gallinger's room, their ears were greeted by 
moans from a man sitting on a lounge. Gen. Cook went up to 
where the man — who proved to be Gallinger — sat and assisted 
him to his feet, demanding to know what had occurred and 
how it had all come about. He found Gallinger covered with 
blood, and when the officer pulled him up the poor fellow 
clutched the lappel of Cook's coat with his bloody hands. The 
blood was flowing from a deep wound four inches long in the 
head. When questioned, John replied in German, and was evi- 
dently demented. But it did not require any speech to explain 
that murder had been attempted. The wound was of a nature 
that precluded the possibility of suicide; and, besides, the instru- 
ment with which it had been inflicted was nowhere to be seen. 
It was evident from the appearance of the wound that it had 
been made with a hatchet, the murderer coming upon the victim 
while sitting, and striking with the edge of the tool. Dr. F. J. 
Bancroft was summoned. Upon examination he found that the 
skull had been seriously fractured, and pronounced the wound 
necessarily fatal. It may as well be stated here, as elsewhere, 
that the doctor's prediction was verified, and that the old man 
died a week afterwards. He was never conscious after the night 
of the assault, and hence could throw no light whatever upon 
the affair. 

Leaving the wounded man in care of others. Gen, Cook im- 
mediately began a search for the murderer. He found the tracks 
of a man leading out from the rear of the building, and made 
an exact measurement of them. He also found a woman who 
stated that she had seen a man go out of the building at the rear 
at about the time of the attack, but she had not been able to 
get a good look at him on account of the darkness, and thought 
she would be unable to recognize him. 

Here was a dilemma. A crime had been committed only a 
few minutes before, but the criminal seemed to have escaped 
as effectuallv as if he had had a month's start of the officers. 


But Cook is not the man to lose time in hesitation. He spent 
the night in searching for some clue which would lead to the de- 
tection of the villain, whoever he might be. 

He learned enough during the night to decide him in a de- 
termiation to raid a house which stood near by. This house 
was occupied^ by several persons, all of them of loose character. 
Among others who occupied it was a worthless individual named 
George Gorman, who was the "solid man" of another inmate of 
the dwelling, a low prostitute called Mrs. Foster. The fellow 
did not work for a living, but depended upon the earnings of this 
woman for support. He was known to be none to good to steal, 
and it was believed that he would commit murder if there was 
hope of reward. Cook knew enough about this man to lead 
him to believe that the chances were good for his being the 
murderer of Cheap John. He decided to investigate, at any rate. 
Accordingly, in company with H. B. Haskell, then a special 
officer in Denver, he repaired to the Gorman residence early in 
the morning succeeding the murderous assault. He found the 
front of the building occupied by Gorman and his woman, while 
in the rear premises resided a Mrs. Mary Kerwin with her fam- 

The officers decided to investigate while the inmates of the 
house were still asleep. They entered the yard by a back en- 
trance, and as they came up to the door found a hatchet lying 
upon the ground thoroughly besmeared with blood. Here was 
certainly a pointer — the first important one found — and it bid 
fair to lead to speedy results. The officers felt that they had 
made a big discovery, and without further ado walked into the 
house, where they met Mrs. Kerwin. of whom they demanded to 
know the name of the owner of the hatchet. Her reply was that 
it was the property of Gorman. 

Gorman and the Foster woman were next approached. They 
did not deny the ownership of the hatchet. 

"Where did this blood come from?'' demanded Cook. 

The woman became the spokesman. "I killed a chicken last 
night," she said, "and cut its head off with the hatchet." 

"Chicken! chicken!" replied Cook. "Chickens are worth a 


dollar and a half apiece in this country now, and I know you 
can't afford chickens. Sowbelly is good enough for you." 

The woman replied that she put on style occasionally her- 

When Cook asked where the feathers were she declared that 
the}' had been thrown into the privy vault, while the bones had 
been burned in the stove. 

A close search of the vault and of the ashes in the stove 
failed to reveal any trace of the remains of the alleged chicken. 
Here were other strong pointers. The arrest of Gorman was 
decided upon. There seemed to be a pretty fair case against 
him already developed, and Mr. Cook had confidence in finding 
a great deal more testimony. Consequently he took Corman 
into custody and locked him up. 

George Hopkins was at that time an officer in Denver, 
and he was called upon to aid in working up the case. He 
was sent to see Mrs. Kerwin and to ascertain, if possible, 
whether she did not know more about it than had so far been 
developed. Gen. Cook, himself, believed that she could tell the 
entire story if she would. In this case, as in most others, he 
hit the nail square on the head. The woman knew a great deal, 
and Hopkins w^as able to prevail upon her to tell her story. 
Her revelation w'as startling enough. 

Mrs. Ker win's sleeping apartments adjoined those of Cor- 
man and Mrs. Foster, and there was only a thin board partition 
between the two rooms, there being many cracks in the boards. 
On the night of the assault she had heard Corman come in. 
She had already retired, and was supposed by him and the Fos- 
ter woman to be asleep, though she was not. He had appeared 
to be considerably flurried, and had said to Mrs. Foster: 

^'Well, I hit the d d old Jew% and I hit him hard, but I 

did not get anything — not a cent. The officers came so quick 
that I couldn't move a wheel, and had to run like the devil to 
get away." 

As may be supposed, this disclosure had aroused the curi- 
osity of the listening woman. She was now wide awake, and 
was determined to hear all that was to be said. She put her 
ear to an open crack, and then heard the man tell his woman 


liow he had come upon the Jew and struck him with his hatchet. 
This he had no sooner done tlian John clutched him, the blood 
spurting out of his fresh wound and covering his shirt. The gar- 
ment, he said, was then bloody. An examination by the two. 
which Mrs. Kerwin witnessed, confirmed his statement. It was 
then decided between them that the tell-tale garment must be 
disposed of. Gorman accordingly took the shirt off, and they 
stowed it away in a cooking vessel which the^' found in the 
room, which Gorman took to the back yard and buried, return- 
ing and going to bed. 

The officers having this story in their possession, began to 
look for the hidden shirt. A snow had fallen in the early morn- 
ing after it had been buried, and they were compelled to look 
over almost the entire yard for it before uncovering it, but they 
nt last came upon the hidden article. It was found snugly buried 
some eight inches below the surface, and when brought out it 
was discovered to be pretty well bespattered with the crimson 

Thus the case was worked up by Gen. Gook. He had not 
rested until he had probed the mystery to its foundation. It 
would seem that there could have hardly been the least chance 
for Gorman to escape the gallows. Strange as it may appear 
to the reader, he not onh' was not hanged, but he was allowed 
to go scot free. 

There was then but one term of the district court held each 
vear in Denver, and it came in Januarv. The trial of Gorman 
€ame on in Januarv, 1807. The crime was then fresh in the 
minds of the people, and the proceedings were watched with 
very great interest. The jurors who sat in the case were P^. M. 
Goodrich, W. S. Peabody, Eli Daugherty, R. S. Permar, Edward 
Bates, L. M. Sprague, G. M. Birdsall, Watson Hplyer, W. S. 
Hurd, W. H. Levain, Robert Tait and D wight S. Thompson. 
The people were represented by Hon. V. D. Markham, then pros- 
ecuting attorney, while Messrs. M. Benedict, G. W. Ghamber- 

lain and Bostwick appeared for the defense. The case 

was ably presented on both sides, the defense relying prin- 
cipally upon impeaching the testimony of Mrs. Kerwin, who was 
the most important witness for the prosecution. , They succeeded 


in making such an impression upon the mind of one of the 
jurors as to cause him to hold out for acquittal against the other 
eleven, who favored a verdict of murder in the first degree, the 
penalty for which would have been hanging. The obstinacy of 
this one man resulted in the bringing in a report of disagree- 
ment by the jury. The case was thus continued until the next 
term of court. By the time this term convened Mrs. Kerwin had 
died, and Mr. Haskell had left the city, and their testimony 
could not be obtained. Hence the case was dismissed, and the 
murderer of Cheap John became a free man in 1868. 

When Gorman was turned out of jail he found Denver a 
very disagreeable place of residence, as everybody believed him 
guilty of murder. He went to Georgetown, where he soon be- 
came known as one of the worst sots of the town, earning a 
scanty living by scrubbing out barrooms. Even his woman de- 
serted him. 

Gen. Cook saw him in Georgetown in 1874, and asked wh> 
he did not tell all about the murder of Cheap John. 

''If I should do so," he replied, "they couldn't prove it on 

Poor fellow! he met with a worse fate than death on the 
scaffold. There was in those days an unused tunnel in the side 
of a mountain near Georgetown, extending in about a hundred 
feet. The people of the town were startled one quiet afternoon 
by a report of an explosion coming from the direction of this 
tunnel, which seemed to them to be loud enough for the bursting 
loose of a volcano. Almost the whole city was shocked. 

The temporary bewilderment having subsided, an investigat- 
ing committee was organized to explore the tunnel. They went 
in with lights, and soon discovered to their dismay that there 
was fresh flesh sticking to some of the rocks of the wall. Other 
pieces of flesh, and some clothing and fragments of bones were 
found scattered about. There was enough of the clothes left 
to identify them as those of old Gorman. He had gone into the 
tunnel — for what purpose no one will probably ever know — and 
had found a five-pound can of nitroglycerine lying on the ground, 
and had evidently picked it up to examine it, and, finding that 
it was nothing that he wanted, had thrown it down, creating the 


explosion which had shocked the town, and which tore his car- 
cass into shreds. 

People said it was Fate that did it. Who knows? 

And this is the end of the story which began eight or nine 
years before, with Gen. Cook's hearing a strange noise while 
crossing the Cherry creek bridge. Strange, isn't it, how all 
these scoundrels meet their just deserts? There are 6ther laws 
than those which the courts deal with, and superior to them. 
One of these prescribes punishment for the murderer. It always 
comes sooner or later. 





The month of January, 1877, was devoted by the Rocky 
Mountain Detective Association to the ferreting out of a gang 
of thieves who made their headquarters at Kit Carson, on the 
Kansas Pacific railroad in this state, and who earned a living 
by stealing from the railroad cars. 

The case was one of prolonged and bold stealing, in which 
a large number of the citizens around Carson took a high hand. 
They carried on with great success a scheme for the robbery of 
the Kansas Pacific Railroad Company and those who en- 
trusted their freights to the care of this corporation. Carson is 
situated about a hundred and fifty miles from Denver, and was 
then the point at which the Arkansas Valley branch of this road 
left the main stem. It is also at the foot of a heavy grade, and 
was- then used as a place for leaving cars. On account of the 
grade, it was often the case that the most heavily laden of the 
cars were laid over there. The plan with the rascals who car- 
ried out this scheme was to help themselves to a portion of 
whatever articles they might find themselves in need of. 

The watchman, whose name was Frank E. Williamson, it 
seems took part in these plunderings, and was well paid for 
his trouble. They did not confine themselves to merely laying 
in groceries, dry goods, etc., but actually broke into the live-stock 


cars and secured good prizes in the shape of horses and mules. 
At first but little notice was taken of these depredations, as 
thej were, for a time, on a very small scale, but the losses being 
continually reported, aroused a suspicion in the minds of the 
officials of the road that the goods were more than one man 
could comfortably get away with, and hence they reasonably 
concluded that a gang was engaged in the business. The reports 
constantly coming in, it was by some means ascertained that 
Carson was the point at which they were taken, and accordingly 
the matter was placed in the hands of Gen. D. J. Cook, the 
superintendent of the Kocky Mountain Detective Association. 
Not, however, until the railroad company had made an effort to 
make one of its own detectives useful. 

Having convinced themselves that the goods which shippers 
complained of finding missiug were being stolen at Carson, the 
company sent one of their '"fly" men to the place to work up 
the case, that evidence might be obtained and the parties ar- 
rested. After spending a few days about Carson, he decided to 
take some action, thinking that he had sufficient facts to justify 
arrests. He accordingly went before the magistrate of the place, 
whose name was Pat Shanley, and who was also proprietor of 
the hotel there. The warrant being sworn out against a few 
men, Shanley told the detective that he would take him around 
and introduce him to the constable, whose name was Worth 
Keene, and who was also proprietor of a saloon, intimating that 
it might be a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone 
by getting a drink at the same time the paper was handed over 
to the constable. The drink was taken, and the two enjoyed 
a laugh at the expense of the fellows who were so soon to be 
in the hands of the minions of the law. But the detective prob- 
ably did not see the sly wink which passed from the justice 
when he handed over the warrant, or if he did, did not under- 
stand its import. He must have thought it rather strange, how- 
ever, when after going out Constable Keene did not return, and 
the men whom he knew to be offenders against the law began 
to disappear. It may be that he was given a hint of the inten- 
tion of the citizens of the place, which was to lynch him that 


Whether his suspicions were aroused or not, when the train 
came along bound for Kansas City, the detective quietly stepped 
aboard and was seen no more in those parts. He departed with 
but little more information than he had possessed when he went 
in, and convinced that the ways of the people of Carson were 
peculiar, quite peculiar, and past finding out. 

It was then that the case was placed in the hands of Gen. 
Cook to have it worked up. The job was a delicate one. There 
were but about twenty-five people, women and children included, 
residing at Carson, so that a man who should go there would 
be open to immediate inspection, and if he should go as a de- 
tective, the chances were that he would be found out before he 
could find out anything. Yet Cook decided to chance it. He con- 
cluded to send a man down to the place, who should stop there 
for awhile and play the role of a deserter from the army. Alex 
MacLean, at present a resident of Denver, was* commissioned 
to perform this delicate task. All went well with him for awhile 
— almost to the end, in fact. He got along quite swimmingly for 
many days. His story was accepted, and as he displayed a con- 
siderable sum of money and used it freely, he was made at home 
with the boys. 

At last, however, the thieves began to suspect MacLean and 
made a strong endeavor to catch him. One of them prevailed 
upon MacLean to sleep with him one night, and during the night 
undertook to draw him out, telling him tjiat there was a splendid 
opportunity there fpr a detective, and entering at some length 
into the scheme of robbery which had been carried on at the 
place. MacLean listened with eagerness, though he did not, by 
words at least, betray himself. He, however, agreed with his 
friend that they could make a great deal of money together by 
exposing the thieving, and that the man should show MacLean, 
the next morning, where the goods were hidden. This was done 
according to programme. 

It now became apparent to the thieves that MacLean was a 
detective, and they arranged their plans to put him out of the 
way, in other words, to quietly kill him on the following night. 
This programme would most likely have been carried into effect 
had the thieves not been so indiscreet as to whisper their inten- 


tions to some one, who dropped the information far down the 
Kansas Pacific, beyond Carson, to a party who telegraphed Gen. 
Cook the peril that his man was in. With this Cook decided to 
recall MacLean and ordered him home that very day, and thus 
were the plans of the murder frustrated. 

A previous train the same day brought in Williamson, the 
watchman, who, concluding that he had been found out or soon 
would be, was preparing to skip the country, and came in with 
his baggage checked for Montana. Being informed through Mac- 
Lean that Williamson was on the train and that he probably 
knew a great deal. Cook proceeded to the depot in Denver, met 
the train and quietly took Williamson into custody. He at first 
made an effort to bluff the officers, but failing in this, agreed 
to make a full conf<3ssion on the condition that he should be re- 
leased from custody. The officers agreed to this proposition, 
especially as they had already taken precautions to prevent his 
capture being known or telegraphed to his friends at Carson. 
Being placed in a close carriage he was driven to a place of 
safety and then told the entire story of the thievery to the de- 

It appeared from this story that the entire town of Kit Car- 
son, with the exception of two men who were too old for action, 
had been engaged in the thievery, which he said had been going 
on for nearly two years, beginning by small stealings and in- 
creasing them as time went on until some big holes were made 
in the shipments which passed through. Shanley, the justice of 
the peace, was the head of the gang, and he accumulated quite 
a fortune in carrying on the work. His hotel was supplied from 
the proceeds of his robbery. He purchased herds of cattle, and 
before he was discovered had stolen sufficient stock to start a 
line of teams between Carson and Del Norte, thus procuring a 
market for the stealings of the gang in the San Juan country, 
and hauling them away at the expense of others. Keene, the 
constable, was also a leader in the gang. With the magistrate 
and the constable, the state's only officers in the district, and the 
cooperation of the railroad watchman, the stealing was made 
easy. It was now, alas, about to be brought to an end forever. 

It was on the 1st of February, 1877, that Williamson was 


arrested and that MacLean arrived at home. Gen. Cook de- 
cided that the gang must be taken without delay, and as soon 
as MacLean arrived and he heard his story, he decided upon a 
coup d'etat. Procuring a special train, he organized an expedi- 
tion under the leadership of Assistant Frank Smith, and sent 
them down to make the arrest of the parties implicated. The 
party consisted of Smith, MacLean, Major Sam Logan, John 
Copeland, Tom Chandler, and Tom Porter. 

The special left DeuA'^er in the evening and ran leisurely down 
the track, timing itself so as to reach Carson about daylight. 
All worked well, and the train drew up a few hundred feet west 
of the station just as the gray dawn was beginning to make 
itself visible on the eastern knolls of the plains. But little time 
was lost in preliminaries. Most of the men belonged at the 
hotel, and it was determined to surprise them first. The officers 
crept cautiously behind a protecting house, and finding that a 
majority of the rogues were already out of bed and standing in 
front of the hotel, marched boldlv out before their startled 
gaze, and with arms presented and ready for instant use, com- 
manded the scoundrels to hold up their hands. 

It was all over in a minute. Nothing was left for them to 
do but to throw their hands into the air and quietly surrender. 

This party being in the possession of the officers, the few 
others scattered in various directions were soon taken, there 
being eight in all, namely: William Kelly, Worth Keene, Mike 
Pitzpatrick, William Tally. Thomas Easbaugh, J. Katliff, C. W. 
Lindsley (Texas Bill), and Pat Shanley. A hurried search was 
made in the vicinity and large quantities of stolen goods were 
found hidden from Kit Carson down the railroad for four miles, 
as well as two miles east, on the Big Sandy, and some on Horse 
creek, north of Kit Carson. Nearly all the articles were buried 
in the ground. Among the miscellaneous assortment of articles 
stolen were hats, caps, laces, silks, groceries, boots, ladies' shoe,<3, 
raisins, feather beds, beef, beef tongues, apple butter, bacon, 
ham, tea, coffee, lard, a quantity of coal, tobacco, powder and 
butter. The goods were mostly taken from the. original pack- 
ages, and where they were not so filched most of the marks were 
erased, except in the case of the butter. 


When these men were removed from Carson to West Las 
Animas, the county seat of Bent county, in which the stealing 
was conducted, there were but two men left at the station to 
take care of the horde of women and children who cried after 
them as they moved away in their shackles. 

One more arrest made in Denver completes the list. While 
the posse was down the road Col. C. W. Fisher, division super- 
intendent, telegraphed to Gen. Cook to arrest a brakeman named 
Adam Ehls, for complicity with the gang. He was discovered 
late in the evening at 520 Arapahoe street, in full dress for an 
engineers' ball. But the appearance of Detective Arnold con- 
vinced him that a change of programme was unavoidable, and 
that Turner hall must dispense with his presence. When in- 
formed that Col. Fisher had ordered his arrest, he seemed to 
perfectly comprehend the whole affair. The officer accompa- 
nied him to his own house, where were found a trunk and valise 
containing a large quantity of fancy goods, ladies' shoes, silver 
plated pistols, and several boxes of cheap jewelry. Forty pocket 
knives had been placed on sale at Tierney's hardware store, but 
were recovered several days before. 

Thus was this well organized and extensive gang of thieves 
brought to justice in a way so effective that the road never since 
had a trouble of this kind of half so extensive a scale to deal 

The association received, as it certainly deserved, the warm- 
est thanks from the railroad company, as well as liberal pay for 
their services. 

At the preliminary examination of this band of thieves, 
which was held at West Las Animas soon after their capture, 
sen-eral of the men were released upon bail, in sums ranging be- 
tween |1,000 and |o,000 bail each. Shanley's bail was fixed 
at 15,000, Keene's at |2,500, and Ehl's at fl.OOO. Three of the 
men were sent to the penitentiary for long terms, and the other 
four escaped upon technicalities. Shanley, Keene and Ehls for- 
feited their bonds and disappeared from the state, never having 
been seen in Colorado since. 

The town of Kit Carson was broken up by the raid, and is 
now little more than a water tank on the Kansas Pacific. 




Ragsdale Gates was a "bad" mau. He hailed from Missis- 
sippi, and came awa}^ from that state under circumstances which 
did not speak well for his character. He left his country for 
his country's good and to save his own neck, which was in jeop- 
ardy. Mr. Gates was one of those numerous southern ''gentle- 
men" who drink too freely, and who, when in liquor, are apt to 
do many rash acts, which, when they are once sober, they are 
sorry for. Mr. Gates had lived for many years prior to 1879 
at Friar's Point, where he killed three white men while drink- 
ing. He is also said to have been a famous ''nigger hunter" in 
the Mississippi swamps, and had been a leader of one of the 
famous Kuklux clans back in the days succeeding the close of 
the war. He had the reputation of having laid several colored 
men to rest. But it was not an act of this kind that got him 
into trouble. It was the killing of a fellow white man, under 
circumstances peculiarly aggravated. He was arrested and es- 
caped jail. 

Having gotten out of prison. Gates left Mississippi, and it 
was some time before his whereabouts became known to any 
one. In some way the Friar's Point oflficers obtained an ink- 
ling that the fugitive had come to Colorado. They did not know 
to what point he had come, or, indeed, whether he was in the 
state at all, but merely surmised that he was. Being desirous 
that Gates should be apprehended, they Mrote to Gen. Cook, 
chief of the Rocky Mountain Detective Association, of their sur- 
mises, and offered a reward of 3^500 for the capture of the man. 


sending a description of him. The matter was turned over to 
Mr. William Wise. Mr. Wise was then, and had been for -years 
previous, one of the leading members of the detective associa- 
tion, and one of the most astute and discreet detectives in the 

Mr. Wise took the case in hand and worked it up with his 
customary energy and caution. He was not long in learning 
that a man giving the name of J. J. Keed, and answering to the 
description of Gates, was figuring in the southern part of the 
state. He learned of him at Silver Clitf, and learned that the 
man had been accused of horse stealing, not for any innate love 
of horse tlesh, but merely that he might gain time in his move- 
ments. Mr. Wise opened a correspondence with persons at 
Silver Clitf after learning of the presence of Gates at that point, 
and had the fellow arrested. Hearing that his man had been 
taken and locked up, Mr. Wise prepared to start for Silver Clitf. 
He had not gotten away from Denver when he learned to his 
surprise and regret that Mr. Gates had taken his departure be- 
fore the officer's arrival. He had again broken jail. 

Mr. Wise did not, however, cease his pursuit of the crim- 
inal. "Billy*' is not the man to let up easily when he once gets 
well started. He was determined that Gates should be taken. 
He accordingly kept on the lookout. He learned that after get- 
ting out of the prison at Silver Cliff, the man had stolen a horse 
to escape on. He tracked him to Dodge City, Kan. But the 
restless southerner did not remain long at any point, and join- 
ing a cattle drive from that point to Dakota, was soon oft" for 
the far north, going now by the name of Warren. He was 
tracked across the plains by Wise, all the way to Camp Eobin- 
son, where he was heard of in a drunken row, as usual, which 
ended up in his seriously injuring a man. He was again thrown 
into prison, and again escaped, the military being unable to cope 
with him. 

Gates then escaped to Wyoming, where he again got into a 
fight and shot a man. This fracas resulted in the re-arrest of 
the fellow, and of his being taken to Sidney. Xeb.. where Wise 
heard of him. and where he determined to go after him with a 
requisition. He had, however, not started, when he heard that 


his man bad again stolen away. The information of the escape 
was soon, however, followed by that of his recapture, and after 
hearing this, Billy was soon off for Sidney, determined this time 
to lose no time, that he might be sure of coming upon his man 
before he should have another opportunity to get away. 

Accordingly Mr. Wise went down to Sidney. He found his 
prize this time, and had no difficult}' in getting him away, start- 
ing immediately for Denver. On the way from Sidney the 
man's propensity to escape asserted itself, but it was not given 
an opportunity to develop fully, and was in fact nipped in the 
bud at a very aggravating moment. Gates remonstrated while 
on the train with the officer for exposing him as a prisoner, and 
requested the officer to allow him to cover up his hands with a 
robe, saying that he was a gentleman, and pleading that his 
pride was wounded in the exhibition which he was compelled to 
make of himself. Mr. Wise at last consented to give the man 
an opportunity to hide his shame and his hands, and threw the 
robe over the latter. 

Billy sat by the side of his prisoner and appeared to be look- 
ing through the floor, when, in fact, his full gaze was directed 
through the corner of his eye towards the prisoner. Soon he 
saw the robe lying across Gates' folded arms begin to move. 
He sat as stolid as a block while the fellow worked at his hand- 
cufifs for half an hour. At last he saw the two hands separate, 
and watched the fellow quietly lay the irons under him on the 
seat. He had succeeded in getting the irons off. His scheme 
was to replace his hands under the covering until the right 
moment should come, when he would take the cuffs from his 
seat, strike the officer over the head with them, grab his pistol, 
jump from the car and be a free man. 

That moment never came. The irons were hardly laid down 
when Mr. Ragsdale Gates found the muzzle of Billy Wise's big 
pistol thrust half way up into his ear. All was over with him. 
The officer had played with him as a cat with a mouse. He 
promised if the officer would allow him to live, he would make 
no further effort to get away while in the custody of Mr. Wise. 
The promise was kept, and Gates was soon landed in Denver. 

Mr. Wise took Gates from Denver to St. Louis, where he 


met a sheriff from Friar's Point, turned the prisoner over to 
him, received his reward, and returned home after receiving a 
warm compliment for both himself and the Rocky Mountain De- 
tective Association, from the oflScer. 

Gates being taken back to Mississippi was confined for 
nearly a year awaiting trial. He escaped from jail again 
on the 25th of June, 1880, and was still at last accounts at lib- 
erty. It is safe to say, however, that he will keep away from 
Colorado in his wanderings. 




Some time in the spring of 1878, Ed. McGrand, the mur- 
derer, and the subject of this sketch, came up over the trail from 
Texas as a herder or employ^ of Bosler Brothers, of Sidney, Neb. 
(who for several years had the contract of supplying several 
Indian agencies, from Red Cloud agency, near Sidney, to the 
agencies up the Missouri river, with beef cattle). They were 
driving a herd of cattle to some of the Indian agencies on the 
upper Missouri, and McGrand had just returned from the trip 
and was at or around Bosler Brothers' range, near Sidney bridge, 
across the North Platte river, about fifty miles north of Sidney. 

One D. J. McCann also had a cattle range near there, and 
it seems McGrand had some ill-feeling or prejudice toward 
McCann, Bruce Powers, and the outfit in general, over some 
trivial matter. 

On June 25, 1878, McGrand came to McCann's camp, near 
Platte bridge, feeling very hostile, and with the intention of 
killing McCann and probably some of his men, being well armed 
and under the influence of "bug juice." He attempted to shoot 
and kill McCann, and would have done so but for the interven- 
tion of McCann's men and friends. Among the friends of 
McCann who had ^ interceded for him, to prevent McGrand's 
murdering him without cause, and had spoken in favor of 
McCann, was the victim, John Wright, a young riian of twenty 
or twenty-one years of age, though a mere boy in stature and 
looks — a quiet, inoffensive cowboy, who had done nothing more 
than an}' one naturally would do to persuade McGrand not to 
insist on murdering McCann and others. 


As soon as the row bad apparently quieted down, this boy 
mounted his pony and rode away, crossing to the other side of 
the river unarmed, and with no weapons of any kind about him, 
doubtless not dreaming of danger. But he was followed by 
McGrand still with murder in his heart. McGrand was mounted 
on a good horse, which did not belong to him and which he stole 
to escape on, and armed with a Sharp's carbine and two Colt's 
large size army revolvers. Thus prepared he followed Wright 
and overtook him soon after he had crossed the river, and shot 
him two or three times in the head, killing him instantly, and 
undoubtedly without any cause, only that he was a friend of 
McCann's outfit. 

After murdering the boy, McGrand immediately disappeared, 
going up the North Platte river, and was not heard of until his 
arrest on June 30, 1878, at a freighter's camp, at Sloan's lake, 
near Cheyenne, Wyo., by T. Jeff Carr, agent of the Rocky Mount- 
ain Detective Association at Cheyenne. 

Immediately after the murder the authorities at Sidney 
offered a reward for the arrest of the murderer, and also sent out 
descriptions all over the country, but through some oversight 
had failed to notify Carr of the murder, and it was by accident 
and a streak of luck that he heard of the murder in time to 
head off the murderer, who was making south and was ready to 
start. In a few hours he would have been out of reach and 
danger, when arrested. 

It was about June 29, 1878, when a teamster, driving a team 
in a mule freight train coming from Fort Laramie to Cheyenne, 
which had gone into camp near Cheyenne, on the banks of 
Sloan's lake, came to Carr and stated "that a suspicious acting, 
bad looking man on horseback, well armed with gun and re- 
volvers, had joined their outfit near Fort Laramie, on the North 
Platte, and had traveled and camped with them all the way; 
that the man acted as though he had committed some serious 
crime and was afraid of capture. He kept out of the way quietly 
when strangers came around, always keeping his horse, gun and 
arms alongside of him ; slept with gun and revolvers at his head, 
and would awake at night and grab them." He described the 
man as tall, with the left eye out, and when in camp near town 


he would be, the teamster said, always at camp "on guard" ap- 
parently, and had said to him that if any one came to take him, 
"he would not be taken, as he would be hung." 

Carr did not know of such a man's being wanted, but 
thought something was wrong or he would not act so, and at 
once set to work to find out if a crime had been committed lately 
by a man answering this description, and on Sunday, June 30, 
1878, he met a cattleman from Sidney, on arrival of the train 
from the east, and asked him if he knew of a tall, one-eyed man 
being wanted at Sidney, or around his part of the country. The 
cattleman replied that such a looking man, named Ed. McGrrand, 
had murdered a boy at Platte bridge some two weeks before, and 
a reward was offered for him, and was surprised that Carr had 
not been notified. He said, also, that McGrand was a desperate 
man, and advised Carr to go well prepared, and be careful about 
, taking him, as he was a dangerous man to fool with, "and would 
surely show fight." Carr immediately telegraphed to Sidney, 
asking the sheriff for particulars, and at once received answer 
that Ed. McGrand, a tall, one-eyed man, was "badly wanted for 
murder, and if around Cheyenne, to get him at all hazards." 

Carr at once called to his aid Deputies W. C. Lykins and 
E. H. Ingalls. He detailed Lykins on horseback with a rifle to 
approach the camp on the lake from the northeast, while he and 
Ingalls in a buggy would approach the lake from southwest, 
as though all were out for a "Sunday ride," and carelessly ap- 
proach McGrand's camp and take him unawares. On arriving 
near the lake and camp, they saw our "solitary guard" standing 
alone near his horse, against a wagon tongue, his gun leaned 
against the wagon wheel and his revolvers in his belt around 
him. They gradually and in an apparently earless manner rode 
nearer the camp, not apparently noticing him or the camp, until 
they were in speaking distance. Carr then carelessly engaged 
McGrand in conversation about the teams, expressing a desire 
to buy some of them and to know where the boss was, etc., 
still driving nearer until close to McGrand, when Carr jumped 
out of- his buggy, grasping the murderer's two hands or wrists, 
immediately followed by Deputy Ingalls, who took his revolvers 


out of his belt, Deputy Lykins all the time covering him with 
his gun. 

Thus McGrand was taken completely by surprise by means 
of the strategy used, and no one hurt. Otherwise, he w^ould 
undoubtedly have given the officers a warm reception. After 
he was taken he gritted his teeth and cursed himself for being 
such a fool as never to suspect they were officers, and told them 
if he had suspected they were after him, they could not have 
taken him, as he could have and would have killed all of them 
and got away on his horse. . "He was the maddest and worst 
fooled man you ever saw," says Carr. He said he killed the 
boy, "but whisky done it," and "he knew he would be hung," etc. 

McGrand was then taken by Sheriff Carr and placed in the 
county jail at Cheyenne, until the next day, July 1, when he was 
taken to Sidney, and on December 16, 1878, he w^as indicted by the 
grand jury for murder in the first degree, and on the 17th he 
was arraigned and placed on trial at Sidney for his life, and 
through some technicality of law, he saved his neck and was al- 
lowed to plead guilty of murder in the second degree, and was 
sentenced to imprisonment for life in the state penitentiary at 
Lincoln, Neb., and is now serving out his time. 

McGrand's history is not known any more than that gen- 
eral report saj's he had to skip from Texas for murder commit- 
ted there, and that he was a murderous and desperate man, and 
thought nothing of killing. He was then about forty or forty- 
five years of age; six feet tall; slender build; blind in the left 
eye; spare, thin, long face, high cheek bones, and a very muscular 
man ; a typical Texas cowboy, with white slouch hat, etc. 




It was on Saturday, during the last days of February, 1875, 
that the then deputy United States marshal and Deputy' Sheriff 
Charley Wilcox, of Arapahoe countj', was shot down, and it was 
then believed fatally injured, at Island station, while making 
an effort to arrest one John W. Johnson on the charge of an 
improper use of the mails. The affair was, take it all in all, one 
of the most thrilling of the kind which ever happened in this 
vicinity, and created intense excitement at the time — a time, by 
the way, when excitements were rare in Denver. 

The facts leading up to the tragedy are these: For a long 
time a "confidence'' game had been carried on by principals, who 
had their headquarters in or about Denver. As early as August, 
1874, the fact became known to the postoffice department that 
the mails were being freely used b.y these swindlers and knaves 
to accomplish their purposes, and at once steps were taken to 
bring them to justice. Several months afterwards sufficient evi- 
dence was obtained to satisfy any ordinary mind of the guilt of 
a certain party, but not to render conviction by a jury a certainty. 
Consequently a plan was arranged to capture the fellow with 
sufficient evidence on his person to admit of no "reasonable 

The game T)racticed by the villains was to send circulars to 
different parties living in this and adjoining territories, and even 
in the states, agreeing to furnish a good watch on the receipt 
of three dollars, or to deliver the same C. O. D. by express. 


Stones, sawdust and other worthless articles were wrapped up 
very carefully in paper and sent to those who were so foolish 
as thus to be caught. The extent of the swindling thus carried 
on is not known, as hundreds would feel too ''cheap" to acknowl- 
edge that they had been duped in such a ridiculous manner. 

This man Johnson, who made his headquarters at Island 
Station, was spotted as the individual who was responsible for 
the swindle, through the exertions of the Denver postoffice offi- 
cials and the Rocky Mountain detectives, and Deputy Sheriff 
Wilcox was sent to arrest him, being first deputized as a United 
States marshal, as the offense was one against the national 

Wilcox reached the station before the arrival of the mail on 
that day, and waited the arrival of Johnson in the postoffice. 
When he came in he was accompanied by another man, by the 
name of Ike Clodfelter. 

As soon as Johnson had received a registered letter, sent 
to trap him, he was arrested by the deputy sheriff. Upon being 
commanded to hand over whatever weapons he might have about 
him, Johnson promptly turned over a pistol to the officer, who 
naturally supposed the man to be disarmed after this, and per- 
mitted him, in. accordance with a request which he had made, 
to go to the door to give some directions about having his 
horse cared for. 

The man was no sooner in the door than he sprang out like 
a pursued deer, and was off with the wind. He drew another 
revolver from his bootleg as he passed out, and was prepared 
to defend himself. The oflker gave chase, attempting to draw 
his revolver. As he did this, the weapon fell, but rather than 
lose time, he pushed on, not having yet discovered that John- 
son had drawn a second time, and believing that it would be 
one unarmed man against another when he should come up with 
his man, as he thought he would be able to do. Hence he con- 
cluded to waste no time, but to push forward in pursuit of his 
game. The result shows that the counted without his host, and 
that he did not half appreciate the cunning and the desperation 
of the man. or men, with whom he was dealing. 

Johnson struck out at full speed, and was followed by the 



officer at a dead run. Finding that he was gained upon con- 
stantly, Johnson cocked his pistol as he ran, and, without stop- 
ping, threw it back over his shoulder with the barrel pointing 
towards the pursuer, sending a streak of smoke and fire and 
lead after him as he flew over the ground. The ball went sizzing 
by Wilcox's head, but left him unharmed. 

Wilcox was, of course, slightly astonished to find the man 
whom he considered unarmed firing at him, but did not stop 
at discovering this odds against himself. On the contrary, his 
pluck was fully aroused, and he determined to have his man 
whatever the cost, now that he had been fired upon by him, and 
he pushed on with more speed than before. Of course, if John- 
son had known that Wilcox had dropped his pistol, he could 
have turned upon and defied him, and the officer shrewdly 
counted upon his man's ignorance of this fact to aid and save 
him. The fellow continued to fire over his shoulder, but as he 
took no aim — did not even see the object which he wished to 
strike — there was no danger except from accident. Five shots 
were discharged in rapid succession, the balls passing uncom- 
fortably near, but none of them striking the officer. 

Not dreaming that Johnson carried anything more than a 
five-shooter, the officer now pushed forward with still greater 
speed, supposing that he had his man safe. Here he learned a 
second lesson as to the character of the man with whom he had 
to deal. The fellow had reserved one load. The deputy was 
allowed to approach within a foot or two, when the gun was 
suddenly thrust back so close as to allow the muzzle to almost 
touch Wilcox, when to that gentleman's great amazement, 
"bang" it went again. 

Hs felt the hard lead crashing through the flesh of his thigh 
and saw the blood spurt out, but he grappled with his man, de- 
termined to get him now or die in the efl:ort. Wilcox then 
feeling that he was safe, collared Johnson, who struck him a 
violent blow over the head with the empty revolver, which in- 
dented but did not fracture the skull. The officer began to push 
his man as best he could towards the house, calling out for 
Postmaster Fowler to come and assist him. Fowler started out, 
but Clodfelter, who was standing by, drew a revolver, and told 




him to "git" or he would shoot him. Fowler preferred the 
former alternative, and left Wilcox to his fate. By this time 
Johnson had begun to call on his confederate to shoot Wilcox, 
which Clodfelter refused to do, especially as Wilcox told him 
he did not believe he was coward enough to shoot an unarmed 
ofiQcer while trying to do his duty. Wilcox had yet to learn that 
this base villian was more than simply a friend of Johnson's. 

Upon being repeatedly urged to shoot, Clodfelter finally gave 
his revolver to Johnson, with the remark: 

"Shoot the s — n of a b — h yourself." 

The instant Wilcox saw the weapon in Johnson's hand he 
so wrenched the fellow's arm that the weapon was useless, and 
Johnson immediately called on his confederate to take it back 
and shoot. This Clodfelter refused to do, but as the bitter, 
angry words: 

"G — d d — n you ! don't you remember what I did for you 

Were uttered, Clodfelter reached for the pistol, and Wilcox 
for the first time realized that he had to deal with a confederate 
as well as the principal. Feeling that he would probably be 
shot, the thought occurred to Wilcox to at least so "mark" John- 
son that he could not escape. He was engaged in a tremendous 
struggle to throw Johnson, intending to stamp his head with 
his boot, when Clodfelter stepped about four feet off and fired. 
Instantly Wilcox dropped, and the two villains mounted their 
horses, which Clodfelter had brought close by, and made off. 

Wilcox was discovered to have been shot by Johnson in the 
thigh, the ball entering the groin and passing out half way down 
to the knee, while Clodfelter had planted his lead in the poor 
fellow's back. 

Sheriff Willoughby, Postmaster Cheaver, Assistant Post- 
master Maj. Lander, Dr. Charles Denison, and Gen. Cook, of the 
Rocky Mountain Detective Agency, were summoned to the scene 
as quickly as possible. They found Wilcox in a precarious con- 
dition and likely to die at any moment. They decided to take 
him to Denver where he could have good care and the best of 
medical aid. 



While the valiant officer is lying at the point of death, there 
are other scenes enacting elsewhere. Johnson and Clodfelter 
are off for their lives, and the officials are hunting them down 
with all the avidity and keenness of scent of bloodhounds. The 
community was greatly enraged, and excitement was intense 
in Denver, as well as in other portions of the state. There were 
loud cries for vengeance, and the demand was made on all hands 
that the would-be murderers should be hunted down. On account 
of their well known skill, the Rocky Mountain Detective Asso- 
ciation were called upon to take the matter in hand. They were 
ready to respond to this call, as they have always been ready 
to respond to any call made upon them. 

Saturday, the day of the killing, was spent in looking after 
the wounded man, but Sunday the detectives put in in prepara- 
tion for the work that was before them. They began the ball 
by offering |250 for the apprehension of the desperadoes, and 
by sending out circulars informing the country at large of what 
had been done, and describing the culprits. 

On Tuesday night, a Mr. Wakeman, who lived then on Spring 
creek, about twenty-one miles from Denver, saw one of the 
posters and immediately remembered that the parties described 
therein had been at his place and were inquiring the way to 
Pueblo without passing through Colorado Springs. 

This was clue enough, and immediately Gen. D. J. Cook, 
accompanied by Frank Smith, took the trail of the fleeing 

Additional rewards had now been offered by the state, the 
county and the postal service, swelling the aggregate to $1,700, 
affording in itself a temptation to the utmost endeavor. 


The pursuit was one of the most memorable ever recorded 
in the history of detective work. The officers left Denver on 
Tuesday morning, taking the Denver and Rio Grande train. A» 
they traveled down the road they inquired at every station ia 
regard to the men. At Larkspur they met a men who said that 
the fugitives had taken supper at 6 o'clock the evening before 
at the house of Mr. Thompson, only a short distance away. At 
Kelly's Switch the officers received a note from a Mr. Water- 
bury, stating that the men who stopped at Wakeman's were 
the ones they were after, and that they had gone south. Na 
other word was received by telegram or in any other way by 
these diligent men until after the men were seen to enter Pueblo. 
Thompson, at whose house the fugitives had taken supper the 
night before, directed them by the Templeton Pass road, which 
comes into the southern road along the Fountaine at Stubb's^ 
which is twelve miles below Colorado Springs. 

At the Springs the officers found Mr. Rickerman, a miller, 
whom they engaged to go over to the Fountaine road and fol- 
low it down, while they would go to Stubb's on the train, pro- 
cure horses, and travel up the road to meet him, thus cutting 
off the pursued. At Stubb's they could not procure horses, and 
while deliberating over the matter Rickerman rode in. He had 
learned that the fleeing men had crossed the Fountaine two 
miles above Stubb's about 9:30 o'clock that morning. As no 
horses could be procured. Cook and Smith footed it to Fountaine, 
five miles, while Rickerman went on ahead on horseback. 

By this time night had come on, and a severe March snow- 
storm, accompanied by strong winds and occasional sleet, was 
setting in. Still no horses were to be procured, and the pros- 
pect for progress was exceedingly gloomy for the officers. They 
not only seemed in a fair way not to be able to procure means 
of pursuing the men, but there was a chance of being compelled 
to remain out all night without adequate protection from the 
storm. Just as the outlook seemed the darkest a ray of hope 
broke upon the scene. 

A second Colorado Springs party of five, well mounted on 
the very best livery horses, and armed with carbines and pistols, 
and headed by a deputy sheriff, rode up. Cook and Smith had 


no doubt that they would be able to make terms with these 
men, and thus be able to proceed with their work. Consequently 
they made a proposition to the leader of this party to leave two 
of his men at the place at which they were then stopping, and 
to let Cook and Smith have two of the horses, agreeing to divide 
the reward in case the criminals should be overtaken and cap- 
tured. This proposition caused the Colorado Springs officers to 
hold a consultation, which resulted in a decision on their part 
to reject it. 

**We can get the men as well as you can," said the leader. 
"We have their description. None of our men want to stay 
here, and we will not make the arrangement you suggest. We 
will pursue the men ourselves, and will not give up our horses. 
Your are out of luck, boys. Hope you will do better next time." 

This was a crusher. Another hope was blasted. 

But Cook and Smith kept their own counsel and did not lose 
temper. They took supper at the same place with the Colorado 
Springs officers. 

After supper the party of six, Rickerman having joined 
them, had their horses prepared for the go, and had mounted, 
when the leader approached Cook thus: 

''Say, old fellow, which way do you think they went?" 

It was Cook's time now to get in his lick. 

"Gives us two horses and I will tell j'ou; without the horses 
T don't know a d — d thing." 

"All right," replied the leader, laughingly, we'll get 'em," 
with which the well mounted party rode oflf, going in the direc- 
tion of Cafion City, much to the delight of the Denver men, who, 
though still afoot, had a great advantage in their experience of 
years and in the knowledge which they possessed. They deter- 
mined to press forward, notwithstanding the snow was falling 
at a blinding rate and night had well set in. 

Cook and Smith prevailed upon a ranchman to take them 
to Mason's ranch, six miles below, in an express wagon. Here 
they ascertained that the two men had passed between 8 and 4 
o'clock in the afternoon. Cook and Smith then went over to the 
railroad station and endeavored to persuade three men, by an 
offer of |30, to take them to Pueblo on a hand-car. This the 


railroad men refused to do, as it was against orders to put a 
hand-car on the track at night. 

"If you don't put it on we will," said Cook to the boss. "We 
must have it." 

"That would make no difference; we can not disobey orders." 

"You can't, eh?" said Dave, as he pulled his revolver around 
so as to show it to the astonished Mike. "Now we've got to 
have the car; we're officers and must have it. If you don't give 
it to us we shall have to tak^ it, and compel some of your men 
to go along with us." 

This was an argument of more force than had yet been used, 
and resulted in the boss's agreeing to take the officers to a point 
seven miles below, which would be only fourteen from Pueblo, 
where he was sure transportation could be obtained. 

In the face of the most disagreeable snow storm of the sea- 
son the indomitable detectives, aided by three of the section 
men, propelled the car, the officers and men alternately working 
the lever and holding brooms to sweep the snow from the rails 
so as to allow the car to move. So they worked their way along 
for several miles until they reached Mr. John Irvine's ranch. 
There they hired a wagon and team for |20, and with that 
went into Pueblo, where they arrived at 3 o'clock on Thursday 
morning. As may be imagined, they were pretty well used up. 
They had put in about as hard a night as ever falls to the lot of 
mortals, walking at times, as they had to do, through slush and 
snow; riding on rough wagons, working the lever of the hand- 
car, and all the time going through the dark and facing the wind 
and sleet. Besides this, they had been compelled to bulldoze 
everybody, ranchmen and railroad men. A hard night it had 
been. No wonder that when they got into Pueblo they were 
well nigh exhausted. Their clothes were wet through and hung 
limp on their limbs like clothes on a pole. 

There were but a few hours left till morning, and the officers 
decided, after stationing two guards at the bridge over the 
Arkansas, between Pueblo and South Pueblo, to get a little rest. 
They, accordingly, after instructing the guards as to what to 
do in case Clodfelter and Johnson should come up, as they were 
confidently expected to do, repaired to a hotel, where they 
stretched themselves out upon cots before the fire with their 
clothes still unremoved, with the hope of drying their garments 
while they should rest their weary bodies. 



Rising about 6 o'clock in tlie morning, the oflflcers started 
to engage horses, but had much diflficulty. Finally they se- 
cured two, one of them a very fine animal. They then went back 
to the hotel, and started up the Fountaine to strike the trail of 
Clodfelter and Johnson. Cook had a Colt's forty-four calibre 
pistol, with only six loads, and a Henry rifle, borrowed at Pu- 
eblo. Smith was armed only with a Colt's breech-loading pistol. 

They had proceeded about two hundred yards from the hotel 
when they heard a shout, and looking back saw one of their 
guards — Officer Bilby — on the hotel steps, waving his hat. The 
officers glanced over the town and saw the two men they sought 
riding through. Instantly they let their horses out, and en- 
deavored to cut off their exit across the bridge. In this they 
were not successful. Then both rode up behind a building and 
then into the street, down which the men were riding, about a 
hundred yards behind them. The men had discovered th6>y 
were being pursued, and had thrown away their blankets, drawn 
their revolvers, and put spurs to their horses. 

As Cook and Smith rode into the street. Cook called upon the 
men to halt, but the demand was not heeded. 

"If you don't halt, you are dead men." But in vain. The 
scoundrels pushed on with all the greater vim. Their horses 
were flying over the ground, and the officers were following 
with the speed of the wind. 

"Let them have one just to scare them," said Dave to Frank, 
and the two officers sent two shots into the air. These had no 
effect. The horsemen rode on without noticing the shots. 


There were a few people in the street at this early hour, early 
and cold as it was, but they all scampered indoors when the bul- 
lets began to whiz in the air. The horsemen rode on regardless 
of surroundings. The pursued pair now swung around in a cir- 
cle and came up on the mesa near the bridge above the oflQcers, 
and riding abreast and as fast as their horses would carry them. 
Cook stopped his horse, cocked his gun, threw it to his shoulder, 
and drew a bead, while both men were riding side by side, sixty 
yards from him. They saw the action, and realizing their im- 
minent danger, statted to drop behind their horses just as the 
detective's finger touched the trigger of his Henry rifle. 

The long and hard chase seemed about to be finished, as 
it was almost certain that Cook, being a dead shot, would either 
kill or seriously wound both of his men. His bead is perfect. 
The finger goes to the trigger; there is a quick, nervous pull — 
down goes the hammer and — "clack" goes the gun. It is a mis- 
fire, and the tw'o men ride triumphantly on into the plains. 

The real chase is only begun, for over the plains fly the swift 
steeds, pursuers and pursued. There are few parallel cases on 
record. For a distance of thirteen miles across the open country 
the two detectives chased the two criminals. At times the es- 
cape of the culprits seemed inevitable; at times their death or 
capture seemed certain. 

After the effort above described to shoot the criminals. 
Smith at once seized his revolver and poured six shots after 
them. One of these shots just grazed Johnson's leg, cutting 


through the cuticle. As they rode through the town, Cook left 
word for Sheriff Ellis to follow with a posse of men. 

Across the country the chase continued, and up a small hill. 
Both pursuers threw away overcoat, gloves, scarf and pistol 
scabbards. Cook carried the gun, while Smith, having the 
fleetest horse, would ride ahead, stop, get off the horse, and be 
ready to take the gun and fire while Cook held the reins, or to 
hold the reins while Cook should fire. 

But time and again the gun refused to go off. Finally, 
Cook turned over his revolver to Smith and tried to fix the gun, 
while on the run. He endeavored to take it to pieces, but 
failed. He pulled one cartridge, and while putting in another 

418 *^ RACE FOR LIFE. 

it stuck fast. By main strength it was finally forced into the 
gun. Just before this Cook's horse, while attempting to jump a 
high sage brush, landed with his hind feet in a prairie dog hole, 
and he was thrown forward on the pommel of his saddle and 
was painfully hurt. After the cartridge had been forced home 
the officers rode up within range and gave two shots, both miss- 
ing the mark. They again went after the men, who now left 
the road and turned into the prairie, and slightly towards Canon 
City, moving over the country, jumping over the tall sagebrush 
and plunging into embankments of snow, ofer which the sun, 
which had now risen, gleamed as on the crest of ocean waves, 
almost blinding men and beast, but yet failing to take the edge 
off the March air, which was bitter cold. 

Thus the chase went on until both parties gave evident signs 
of weakening. The fugitives had ridden their horses hard, and 
they were visibly weakening. The poor animals could not be 
whipped out of a trot. The officers came up to within sixty 
yards, and Cook being so near, shouted to them : 

''See here, boys, this thing has gone about far enough. Your 
horses are broken down. We are well heeled, and if you don't 
stop we'll kill you. You may count on it." 

But the precious pair paid no heed to this warning, and 
went on as rapidly as their weary nags could carry them. Two 
more shots were sent after them. 

A few feet further on, the fugitives were seen to slacken 
their pace, and one of them to reel in his saddle and fall off his 
horse into the snow. This was Clodfelter, and he said to John- 
son, as he stopped: 

"We must surrender. It's no use. I'm shot." 

He tried to brace himself with his right hand, but that had 
been disabled by a bullet which had struck the palm of the 
hand and plowed through it and up the fellow's arm, breaking 
his pistol into smithereens. It was then that the officers dis- 
covered that they had "winged" one of their men. They had at 
first supposed that the men had determined to stop and make 
an even fight of it for their lives and liberty, but they now began 
to appreciate that they were preparing for a surrender, especially 



as Johnson also threw himself out of his saddle and threw his 
hands into the air, tossing his pistol away from him. 

The officers dismounted and walked up to within twenty feet 
of the men. Johnson was standing with his hands up, and Clod- 
felter lay on the ground by the side of his horse, which was 
blowing so lound that he could have been heard a distance of 
two hundred yards, as were all the others, in fact. There was 
a momentary silence, when Cook, addressing Johnson, said: 

"You surrender, do you?" 

"We do," was the reply. 

"Have you got another pistol?" 

"I have just thrown it away." 

"But have you another one? You don't come any Wilcox 
business on us. I will have you searched, and if another weapon 
is found upon you I will kill you where you stand. Do you un- 

Slowly Johnson put his hand into an inside pocket and 
pulled out a revolver with his thumb and forefinger, and threw 
it upon the ground at his feet. 

Clodfelter replied to questions that he had been so badly 
wounded as to be unable to get his pistol, which was in his 
pocket. Cook then covered the men with his gun while Smith 
searched them. Clodfelter was found to be quite seriously 
wounded, and faint from the loss of blood. He fainted away 
when the search was completed, and did not recover until a lib- 
eral supply of fresh snow had been dashed into his face. 

The tw^o men w6re then mounted upon their horses, and the 
party of four, officers and prisoners, started into Pueblo. 

Looking far off towards the city, they saw a string of horse- 
men coming towards them, numbering apparently about twenty, 
and some of them five miles away. These were Sheriff Ellis and 
his posse, coming to the rescue of the two officers. The first 
of them had been encountered about half a mile from the scene 
of the capture, and soon after the sheriff himself was met. Mr. 
Ellis had started out gallantly at the head of his party. But it 
must be remembered that the hour was early. The sheriff" was 
a man of regular habits. He had started out very soon after 
getting his breakfast. He had ridden along for ten miles far 

422 '^ RACE FOR LIFE. 

in advance of the remainder of his partj'. He was fast gaining 
on Cook and Smith, and might eventually have passed them in 
the chase and have been the first to come up with the flyers. 
But he was compelled to stop to see other and slower members 
of his party pass him one by one, and to hear their jeers and 
lioots. In brief, the same circumstance which prevented the 
proverbial dog from catching the proverbial rabbit, stepped in to 
prevent Sheriff Ellis from overtaking the fugitive criminals. 
Poor fellow! no one enjoyed the joke more than he did. He 
was a good soul, and loved his fun and his fellow mortals too. 

Almost the entire town of Pueblo met the party upon its 
return, and a cavalcade of fully two hundred men rode into town 
with them. Johnson was full of bravado, and swore that he 
and his ''pard" would never have been captured had Clodfelter 
not been shot. As for Clodfelter, he sang another tune entirely. 
He professed to deeply regret his part in the affair, and time 
and time again said: "I'm sorry; I only hope they will not 
hang me.'" The tears would start and roll down his face when 
any one spoke of Charley Wilcox and his wounds, and he often 
asserted: "I had no enmity to Wilcox; I did it under excite- 
ment." Indeed, he seemed anything but a desperado, and was 
evidently deeply sensible of the grievous wrong he committed, 
and suffered as much as any one. 

jOnce on the train after leaving Pueblo, the two men told 
the story of their flight after the shooting of Wilcox, at Island 
Station, immediately after which they mounted their horses and 
rode to Brantner's. Johnson remained t)n his horse, while 
Clodfelter went in and obtained a pair of blankets, and a cap 
and a coat for Johnson. Clodfelter told Brantner that they had 
got into trouble, but did not tell him the whole story. They 
then rode directly to Richard Morris' ranch, on the Platte, and 
about a mile from Brantner's, and inquired for Morris. Not 
finding him in, they rode on to Jackson farm, about two miles 
and a half from Morris', up the Platte, and from there they went 
to Sopris' old ranch, at the junction of the Platte and Clear 

Here they endeavored to obtain pistols, and then bullets and 
powder and shot, but did not succeed. They did obtain food. 


Their course was then straight for the mountains, intending to 
strike them south of Golden. They reached the foothills about 
sunrise Sunday morning, about eight miles, as they think, above 
Platte caiion. They spent most of the day in the mountains, 
but late in the afternoon came out, went to a ranch about three 
miles below and obtained feed for the horses and provisions for 
themselves. They then struck south, and a little before sun- 
down crossed the Platte about a mile below the canon, intend- 
ing to strike the southern road. They traveled until about 12 
o'clock that night, and after t^ing their horses laid down on the 
prairie and slept until morning. They were then on Willow 
(South Plum) creek, about a mile above Wakeman's. About 
7 o'clock Monday morning they rode to Wakeman's and got 
coffee. From there they made south, in a direct line for the 
foothills, and struck the road running south to Colorado Springs 
about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. They followed the road for 
an hour, and then stopped at a house and got supper. They con- 
tinued along the road, passing Monument and other stations. 
About 4 o'clock in the morning (Tuesday) they passed through 
Colorado Springs, and took the road south. Soon they became 
bewildered, and were uncertain about being on the right road. 
They descried a ranch and went to a hay-stack and fed their 
ponies, and discovered the railroad. This assured them, and 
crossing over to the west side of the track they continued their 
journey south, crossing the Fountaine about five miles below the 
ranch, and afterwards crossed back. About twelve miles from 
Colorado Springs they obtained a dinner and oats for their 
horses. As they pursued their southerly course, the snow be- 
gan to fall and impede them. When about one mile from Pu- 
eblo, they i)ut up at a ranch for the night, about 10 o'clock in 
the evening. About 7 o'clock in the morning (Wednesday) they 
started for Pueblo, and rode down one of the principal streets, 
when they were discovered. Not until thej' were close to the 
bridge did they imagine they were pursued, and then only from 
the peculiar action of two men on foot and two others on horse- 

Both men denied that Johnson said, "You know what I did 
for you once." They declared all that was said was, ''You know 



what I've done," meaning the shooting at Wilcox, and hence 
requesting Clodfelter to help him out of the scrape. 

There was great interest in the prisoners and their success- 
ful pursuers at all stations along the road, and especially at Col- 
orado Springs, whose pursuing party had ''marched up the hill 
and then marched down again;" or, in other words, had slept 
out all night after leaving Cook and Smith at Fountaine, and 
returned the next day to Colorado Springs, hungry, fatigued, 
sleepy, almost frozen and without their booty. Colorado 
Springs really enjoyed the chagrin of its light brigade, and gave 
Cook and his party a royal reception on their return through 
that place as the train halted at the depot. 

There was another reception in Denver. The officers came 
in the third day after starting out, and brought their game with 
them. There was talk of lynching when the party arrived. 
Continually after it was announced that Johnson and Clodfelter 
had been captured and would arrive on the evening train, the 
probability of a "hanging bee" was discussed on the street and 
in every store. The sentiment of the community was, however, 
strongly against Judge Lynch, and certain incentives to the gath- 
ering of a mob were generally and severely denounced. Still 
curiosity and excitement among a certain class had reached such 
a pitch that measures were taken to prevent and thwart any 
action of the kind. 

About the time of the arrival of the train, men and boys 
could be seen wending their way towards the Larimer and Fif- 
teenth street crossings, and also to the depot, as rumor had 
named each place for the transfer of the prisoners to carriages. 
The largest crowd collected at the depot, where the train did 
unload its burden. It is said that there were those in the crowd 
who openly carried ropes for halters. 

As soon as the train arrived at the depot the prisoners were 
transferred to a 'bus, their persons being protected by a suffic- 
ient number of good men to overawe any crowd who did not 
care to receive cold lead. The 'bus was occupied by two trav- 
elers, Gen. Cook and Frank Smith, of the Rocky Mountain De- 
tective Association, by Johnson and Clodfelter, and Sheriff Ellis, 
of Pueblo county. On top of the 'bus rode Sheriff Willoughby 


and aides. In the rear was a mounted policeman. As the 'bus 
moved up the street it was surrounded by a number of wagons 
and carriages, filled with people anxious to get a sight at the 
noted criminals, while still others followed on horseback. 

On arrival at the jail, about three or four hundred persons 
were found collected at the entrance, who seemed indisposed to 
give back for the horses to pass. As soon as the 'bus came to a 
standstill, however, the crowd were parted by Sheriff Willoughby 
and his deputies, who arrived on the 'bus, and by still others 
at the jail. This passage was guarded by these men with drawn 
revolvers, and if any effort had been made to take the prisoners 
from the officers of the law, it would have resulted in terrible 
(execution on the crowd. lu the presence of such a display of 
armed men no disorder was observed, and in safety the prisoners 
were lodged in Arapahoe County jail. 

From the time the procession of carriages left the depot until 
the prisoners were landed in the jail, hundreds of eyes peered 
from houses, stores and business blocks upon the unusual spec- 
tacle, and i)edestrians paused in their walk to gaze upon the 
vehicle containing the men about whom so much had been writ- 
ten and said. 

During this hurried trip through the city the prisoners were 
evidentlv uneasv and fearful of being Ivnched. When landed in 
jail and the doors were closed against the crowd, upon a re- 
mark being made to Clodfelter that he was safe, he replied : 

'•Yes, but the worst is to come hereafter." 

Previous to being put in a cell, the shackles, which were 
riveted to their ankles, were cut off", and then the men were 
placed in confinement. 

They were soon afterwards tried in Denver, but as Wilcox's 
wound did not prove fatal, they were only sent to the penitentiary 
for three and a half years each. They are both at liberty now, 
and their whereabouts has been lost sight of. Mr. Wilcox is 
still a resident of Denver, and now a member of the police force, 
and Gen. Cook carries a scar on his wrist which was caused by 
a slight wound created in attempting to remove the cartridge 
from his gun during the pursuit of the men. 

The case was so thoroughly worked up by the detectives, 


and a clue once obtained was followed with such skill, persever- 
ance and pluck, that the praise of the entire state was justly 
awarded them. The press was full of commendation, but we 
shall let one example speak for all. The Pueblo Chieftain said 
th(? day after the capture: 

. "'Detectives D. J. Cook and Frank Smith have Avon fresh 
laurels for themselves by the excellent manner in which they 
have managed this case. Notwithstanding the fact that even 
the elements were arrayed against them, they have managed to 
follow up and arrest these scoundrels in a manner highly credit- 
able to themselves and the association to which thev belong." 




DetectiA'es, as a rule, are devoid of superstition. They have 
suflScient offer of assistance from mediums and fortune tellers, 
and of other persons who profess to read the future, but they 
find that thej' do better, as a rule, when they depend solely upon 
the material facts which form their staple. They rely generally 
upon their own eyes and ears and shrewdness of mind to accom- 
plish their work. As a rule, in fact, they are disbelievers in 
all that is supernatural or that comes from so-called second 
sight. But occasionally they see occurrences which they con- 
sider strange, to say the least. Gen. Cook does not call to mind 
any story in which clairvoyance or spiritualism has plaj'ed any 
important part in the capture of a criminal, but he relates a 
reminiscence concerning the death of a fellow detective and 
member of the Rocky Mountain Detective Association, which is 
80 very, very strange as to deserve a place in this record, 
especially as the circumstances are thoroughly authenticated. 
The story, regardless of this feature, is sufficiently thrilling to 
justify its publication here, but when this is added, the interest 
is increased tenfold. Indeed, there are few occurrences related 
in history which combine to such an extent the thrilling ele- 
ments of official life with the mysterious features of the spiritual 

The story deals with Alex Ramsey and his wife, and is 
located at Hayes City, Kan., the time being the fall of 1875. 
Ramsey was at that time a man about thirty-three years of age, 
and was as fine a specimen of manhood as is met with in a day's 
journey. He was a thoroughly western man in all things — in 


manners, frankness and courage, as well as in stature. He was 
ever a hail fellow, genial with his friends, liberal to a fault, and 
as brave as a lion when duty called him to action. He was a 
good detective, excelling especially in his dealings with des- 
perate characters. He had, a few years before the date of this 
story, married a confiding, impressionable little woman down in 
the Missouri valley, who loved him with all the strength of a 
woman's nature. She depended upon him implicitly, believed 
in his prowess in all matters, and reall}' worshiped him. Soon 
after their marriage they removed to Hayes City, near the 
Colorado line and then the terminus of the Kansas Pacific rail- 
road — a live, bustling town, full of life and abounding in the 
rough characters who accompanj^ the building of railroads in 
the West. 

Ramsey had not long been in Hayes when his courage as 
well as his many manly qualities came to be known to the people 
of the place, as he frequently had occasion to aid in handling 
the violent spirits who congregated there. Hence it came about 
that when the people of that place came to want an executive 
officer in whom they could trust, they selected Ramsey. Gen. 
Cook, as chief of the Rocky Mountain Detective Agencj^, heard 
of this man, and in 1871 invited him to become a member of his 
association. The offer was accepted, and Ramsey became one 
of the most active of the olncers of the organization, ahvays 
conducting himself so as to win the approbation and maintain 
the confidence of his chief. Ramsey had served one term as 
sheriff of his county, and in the summer of 1875 was reelected, 
virtually without opposition. Being in Denver soon after the 
reelection, he told Gen. Cook that he was the first sheriff who 
had ever lived to be elected to a second term in Hayes City, his 
three predecessors having been killed before the expiration of 
their respective terms of office. "I have gone through one siege," 
he said, "and I am going to try it again. The chances are that 
I shall be killed, but I will take the chances." 

It was in October following his visit to Denver that Mr. 
Ramsey was called upon to go in pursuit of a couple of horse 
thieves. A character well known on the frontier in those days 
as "Dutch Pete," and known by no other name, accompanied by 


a pal whose name is not known at all, one night made a raid 
upon a band of horses belonging to a man living in Colorado, 
and stampeded thirty-five head of them. When the owner awoke 
the next morning he found his animals gone, and was able to 
ascertain that the thieves had taken their booty in the direction 
of Smoky Hill or the Republican river. His first impulse, as 
he afterwards explained, was to pursue them himself, but re- 
membering the skill and courage of Ramsey in running down 
such characters, he changed his mind, and went to Hayes City 
and put the case in his hands. 

Mr. Ramsey cheerfully took charge of the matter, securing 
Frank Shepherd, a friend in whom he had confidence, as an as- 
sistant in the work before him, and kissing his wife an affec- 
tionate farewell, he rode otf in company with Shepherd, going 
towards Smoky Hill with the intention of cutting off the retreat 
of the thieves. The two officers started off thoroughly armed 
and well mounted. Their horses galloped away in spirit, as if 
anxious to lessen the distance between the officers and their 

Mrs. Ramsey watched the horsemen as long as she could 
see them, gazing even into the blank horizon after they had 
disappeared as if to feast her eyes as long as possible upon the 
manly form of her husband, so full of life and hardy manhood. 
She had been used to having him placed in positions of danger, 
and so great was her confidence in her husband's superioritj 
over other people in courage and coolness, that she had come 
to have but little fear for his personal welfare w^hen out on an 
expedition like this upon which he was now starting. But, some 
how, she seemed to feel an unusual desire on this occasion to 
have Mr. Ramsey not go, although she did not say so to him, 
for she knew that he would attend to his duty in spite of any 
forebodings of hers, which he would consider foolish, womanish 
fear. But she gazed longer and earnestly after him, and at 
last when she knew that he had gone for good, had turned to go 
in the house, exclaiming, "Oh. pshaw! this is foolish. I know 
he will come back. He always does, doesn't he?" 

She thus dismissed the matter from her mind as completely 
as she could, and went about her household duties, making her- 


self as busy as possible during the day and as far into the night 
as she could find anything to do. As a consequence of this over 
exertion Mrs. Ramsey slept soundly upon going to bed. Every- 
body about the house had retired either before or at the time 
that she did, and all were by* midnight busy with their dreams. 
They were, however, at this hour startled into a thorough state 
of wakefulness by a scream which rent the air, and which came 
from the direction of the room of Mrs. Ramsey. 

The entire hous(;hold was astir in a moment, and all rushed 
pell-mell into Mrs. Ramsey's apartments. They found her out 
of bed in her night clothes, and her two children, one of them 
a mere baby, clinging to her. She was talking in an incoherent 
manner at the top of her voice and the children, thoroughly 
frightened at their mother's manner, were crying loudly. The 
inmates of the house succeeded in a few moments in quieting 
the woman down, and at last procured an explanation from her. 
"Such a horrid — horrid dream!" she explaimed. "Oh, I know 
it's true! I saw it — just as plain as day — plainer than I see 
you — just as real and terrible as if I had been there. I just 
know that Alex is dead. I didn't want him to go. I tried to 
the last to see him. I never in my life so longed to beg him 
not to go. I wish I had. I believe he would have stayed with 
me. But poor, poor fellow, I shall never see him again, except 
in death." 



Mrs. Ramsey, after this raving narrative, became more 
quiet and told the people standing about her that she had 
dreamed that she had seen Mr. Eamsey and Mr. Shepherd come 
upon the horse thieves and attack them; that the thieves had 
started to flee on their horses; that the officers had followed and 
fired upon them, the thieves returning the lire. Three men had 
fallen almost simultaneously from their horses, two of them 
being the fugitives and the third her husband, v.ho had been 
fatally shot. Her dream had continued so as to take her out 
to search for her husband with the hope of meeting him upon 
his return. Instead of meeting him alive and well she had en- 
countered a covered wagon, which she described, bringing in 
his dead body, seeing which she had screamed so loud as to 
awaken herself and others asleep near her. 

This was the dream as Mrs. Ramsey told it. It had been 
so real to her and the occurrences so tangible that she felt that 
a tragedy such as she had described had occurred, and refused 
to be comforted by the argument that it was foolish to pay any 
heed to a dream. Such she agreed was usually the case, but 
in this instance she felt that she had really been present at the 
killing of her husband. The conviction seemed to take complete 
possession of her. No reasoning would shake her belief that she 
had been a real witness to a tragedy which had resulted in her 
beloved husband's death. 

Mrs. Ramsey refused to again attempt to sleep or even to 
retire again that night. The only comfort which she seemed 
to receive was in the assurance that as soon as dav should 


biieak she should be driven out in the direction which her husband 
had talcen. "I know I shall meet that covered wagon," she said, 
"I just know it, but I want to go, anyhow, and to know the 

According to promise she was allowed to start out from 
Hayes at a very earh^ hour the succeeding morning, a friend ac- 
companying her in a carriage. They had driven out a distance 
of fourteen miles without meeting any one, when there began 
to dawn a ray of hope that the dreadful vision of the dream 
would prove to have been merely a hallucination, caused by the 
imperfect action of the brain while asleep. But the poor woman 
looked eagerly forward for the purpose of getting the first view 
of that which she most dreaded to see. 

Long as it was in coming, the wagon came in sight all too 
«oon. Rising up over the summit of an elevation in the plains 
and looking down the descending grade she saw slowly coming 
towards her and her companion a covered wagon drawn by two 
horses. Throwing up her hands so as to cover her eyes she 
(exclaimed with all the force of positive conviction: 

"My God! there's the wagon." 

She could not have been more positive if she had seen the 
vehicle only the day before. After this sight she refused to 
be comforted and only urged her driver to increase his speed, 
sobbing as if heart-broken as they pushed on. 

The woman's dream had been more than a dream. It had 
been a real vision. There had been no deception. The vehicle 
was just as she had described it and in it lay the lifeless body 
of her husband, just as his wife had said would be found to 
be the case. 

Very strange all this is, to be sure, and yet true to the 
letter. Let who can explain it. 

Inquiry revealed the fact that the shooting had occurred 
just as it had appeared to Mrs. Ramsey and just as she described 
it to half a dozen witnesses before leaving Haj^es City. The 
oflBcers had come upon the thieves in the afternoon of the first 
day out, thirty-five miles from Hayes, just as they were con- 
cluding their dinners and preparing to continue their journey. 
They had mounted when they discovered the officers riding down 




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upon them. The thieves knew Kamsey, and their first thought 
was to escape from him at all hazards. They accordingly put 
spurs to their horses which they rode, leaving the others which 
they had stolen behind. The officers spurred up their horses 
also, and were soon chasing the thieves across the plains. The 
two parties were not less than sixty yards apart when Ramsey 
said to Shepherd, after having summoned the fugitives to halt: 

''Well, I don't see that there is anything to do but to bring 
them down. You take the one on your side and I'll take the 
fellow on my side." 

This speech had hardly been spoken when the two thieves 
turned in their saddles with pistols presented. It was plain to 
be seen that there must be a deadly duel then and there. 

"Won't you surrender?" shouted Ramsey. 

''Never!" was the reply. 

''Then we will kill vou." 

''Fire away." 

"Give it to 'em." Thus to Shepherd. 

There were four pistol shots coming so close together as to 
sound like a volley. 

One of the thieves, the one at whom Ramsey had shot, reeled 
and tumbled from his horse dead. The other reeled but did not 
fall, and Shepherd spurred on after him, not noticing that Ram- 
sey did not follow. After galloping a short distance the second 
man fell from his saddle mortally wounded. 

Turning then for the first time, Shepherd, who was unhurt, 
discovered that Ramsey had been knocked from his horse. He 
had been shot through and through, the ball passing near his 
heart. There was a ranch a few miles distant and Shepherd 
determined to make an effort to get his friend to it and to leave 
the thieves where they had fallen. "Dutch Pete" proved to be 
the man at whom Ramsey had directed his aim. He it was who 
had shot Ramsey. But Ramsey's shot had gone straight home, 
passing through Pete's heart. The other thief was also mor- 
tally wounded, and soon died. Their bodies were covered with 
stones and left where they had fallen. The stolen horses were 
gathered together and returned to their owner. 

As for Ramsev, he was taken to the ranch referred to and 



given every possible attention. But after lingering on in great 
pain he died at 12 o'clock of the night succeeding the shooting — 
at the exact hour at which Mrs. Ramsey had had her startling 
and strange dream. 

The body was then placed in the ranchman's covered wagon, 
and the cortege started for Hayes City, meeting Mrs. Ramsey 
on the road. 

It is useless to attempt to further describe the anguish of 
the poor woman. She refused to be comforted after her hus- 
band's death, and two weeks after his funeral she was a raving 
maniac. Four months afterwards her unhappy spirit deserted 
the flesh and she joined her husband in the world beyond this. 



Candado Costello, a nephew of the famous murderer, Es- 
pinoza, although the blood of the ancient Castilian nobility 
flowed through his veins, was a bad, bad Mexican. 

And, although we have neither the space nor the inclination 
to moralize at any length, it might be well to remark, for the 
benefit of the boys who feast upon blood-and-thunder novels of 
the yellow-back variety, that bad men invariably come to grief. 
For a time they may rob and kill and plunder, and swagger 
around saloons on the proceeds of their crimes, terrorieing 
peaceable and defenseless people, yet sooner or later justice will 
overtake them, and the}' must ^aj the penalty of their crimes. 
This is the inexorable law of fate, and though they may be able 
for a time to evade its penalties, they are only enjoying a res- 
pite — their days are numbered, and the number is never large. 
But to return to our subject. 

Costillo was a murderer as well as a thief, there being no 
less than four cold-blooded murders that have been directly 
traced to his blood-stained hand. But the particular case which 
we wish to relate here, is that of the killing of a wealthy Mex- 
ican cattleman near Bernallilo, N. M., in 1886, for which he was 
brought to justice by two members of the Rocky Mountain De- 
tective Association — Frank A. Hyatt, and Walter O. Malley, of 

Costillo, with his brother Juan and a number of other rela- 
tives and friends, made their homes in the almost Inaccessible 
Huerfano canon, about twelve miles north of Walsenburg, Colo. 
From this stronghold they sallied forth on many a raid after 
cattle and horses, which they generally managed to escape back 
into the canon with in safety. In the raid on Romero's ranch, 
he and his brother secured a fine bunch of cattle and were driv- 


ing them toward home, when they w^ere overtaken near Espanola 
by Komero and his son. They turned and fired upon their pur- 
suers, and tlie elder Romero fell dead. The son escaped back 
home and tried to persuade their neighbors and friends to organ- 
ize a posse and follow his father's murderers, but they were all 
afraid to follow the desperado. 

Mrs. Romero offered a reward of |5,000 for the capture of 
Candado Costillo, Juan having escaped to old Mexico. Gov. 
Shelton offered |500, and an uncle of Mrs. Romero |100 more. 
All these rewards did not tempt the local oflicials to capture, him, 
and the sheriff of Huerfano countv, for some reason or other, 
did not make any effort to apprehend the criminal. 

Finally, Senator Barilla, of Walsenburg, a friend of Romero, 
the murdered man, wrote to Dr. Gale, of Alamosa, asking him to 
interest Frank Hyatt in the case, as he knew of no one else 
that would undertake the difficult job. 

Hyatt commenced work on the case about the 1st of May, 
1887. He went up to Walsenburg and had a consultation with 
O'l^Ialley as to the best means of securing their man. O'Malley 
said that it would be almost useless to attempt to take the 
murderer at his home, but added that Costillo was subpoenaed 
as a witness in a civil case that was to be called up for trial in 
about a month, and that would be the best time to effect his 
capture. So they agreed to wait, and Hyatt returned to Ala- 

On the 2d of June he received a message from O'Malley, say- 
ing: "Man O. K. Come at once." He went to Walsenburg 
that evening, and the next morning, O'Malley came to his room 
at the hotel with the information that Costillo was then in the 
court room. They both went over to the court house, and Hyatt 
stepped into the office of Treasurer Nolan to wait while O'Malley 
hunted up Costillo. When O'Malley entered the room with Cos- 
tillo, Hyatt w^as pretending to read a paper, and paid no atten- 
tion to them until O'Malley introduced the Mexican, who stepped 
forward, with his right hand extended, to shake hands. Hyatt 
seized the" Mexican's right hand with his own left, and held it 
as in a vice, at the same time leveling his revolver with his 
right. Realizing that he had been neatly trapped, Costillo did 
not make a struggle, and O'Malley quickly slipped the first pair 
of "^ad cinch" handcuffs ever placed on a murderer's wrists 
on the prisoner. 



Hyatt and O'Malley, with their prisoner, hurried out of town 
toward La Veta, to take the train for Santa Fe. At La Veta 
they were overtaken b}' a deputy sheriff and a posse, with a writ 
of habeas corpus for Costillo, and a warrant for the arrest of 
Hyatt, on a charge of kidnapping. This necessitated a return to 
^Yalsenburg, but as soon as the case could be called up, Hyatt 
was discharged, and allowed to proceed with his prisoner, whom 
he landed safely at Santa Fe. 

Got. Sheldon promptly paid the |500 reward offered by 
him, as did the uncle of Mrs. Romero, but the widow declined 
to paj' the |5,000 she had offered, or any part of it, and Hyatt 
finally decided to let her go. Costillo was found guilty and 
sentenced to eight years in the territorial penitentiary. 

Costillo was a model prisoner and in consequence a large 
portion of his sentence was deducted for good behavior. This 
was due not to any good qualities of the brute nor to a desire 
to reform, but was simply a cunning design to obtain freedom 
that he might the sooner wreak the vengeance his blood-thirsty 
appetite desired. He was afraid to attack the plucky officer who 
had sent him over the road, so he contented himself with the 
murder of inoffensive travelers, bv his own confession in a let- 
ter to a friend, having killed no less than four white men after 
his release. 

The crime for which he was finally shot to death was the 
murder of two Swede miners at Red Hill pass, in South park, 
in 1891. He, with a younger Mexican, killed the Swedes while 
they were camped at night, and dragged their bodies away from 
the road so that they were not found for several days. Finally 
they were discovered, and the sheriff of Park county, with two 
deputies, started after the Mexicans, who they learned had gone 
to Costillo's old retreat in the Huerfano canon. They seem to 
have killed the two miners simply for revenge, as neither of 
them had an}- money or other property sufficient to tempt the 
cupidity of even a Mexican. 

When the sheriff' had them surrounded in their cabin the 
3'oung Mexican surrendered, but old Costillo refused to give 
up, and stood the officers off for two or three days. Finally he 
made a desperate dash for liberty and was shot all to pieces 
by the officers, and no one mourned his loss. It is doubtful if 
he was even given decent burial, as his neighbors, who were 
nearly all Mexicans, despised him so thoroughly that the}' would 
have nothing to do with him. 

The young Mexican was convicted of murder and sentenced 
to the penitentiary for life, and is now probably serving out his 


Just a word with the reader in finishing this book. Not by 
way of apology or explanation, but as a general adieu. Cer- 
tainly we feel that the stories as here given explain themselves, 
and we believe that the reader, will agree with the writer, after 
perusing the volume from beginning to end, that he has gotten 
the worth of his money. Hence no apology is necessary. It is 
true that the cases here related have not been drawn out as is 
the custom with some detectives who write books, but this 
neglect, if such it may be termed, has been intentional. It is 
not believed that the western reader has time to pore over small 
details, or that he cares to know of every step of the detectives, 
whose personal conduct outside of their real accomplishments 
in the line in which they may be operating is of no consequence 
to any one but themselves. Hence this book has not dealt with 
all the little operations of the detectives who figure in its pages. 
Its aim has been to present the material and important facts, 
and to picture the criminal as well as the officer. 

The criminal of the Far West is a man who displays himself 
most thoroughly in times of emergency. It is when he comes 
face to face with the officer that he is desperate and difficult to 
deal with. He will always fight, and the officer who hunts him 
down may in four cases out of five count upon having to take 
his man at the muzzle of his revolver. It is this fact which 
makes the western narrative of more thillling interest than that 
of the more conservative eastern localities. It is also this fact 
which increases the danger and hardship of a detective's life 
in the West. The detective of the Eocky mountains, and of the 
plains which stretch out to the great rivers in the middle of the 
continent, must be a man possessed not alone of a keen capacity 
for hunting down criminals, but must have the courage to face 
such criminal when taken, and to risk his life in hand-to-hand 
combat when his man is come upon. But it would seem un- 
necessary to dwell upon this fact for the benefit of the reader 
of this volume. It speaks for itself. There is hardlj' a story of 


the number told which does not bear out this assertion. There 
are very few captures here reported which have not been made 
by officers who rislced their own lives in making them. There 
are some cases in which men made such resistance as to require 
that they be shot down in their tracks, and in some cases it has 
been the sad duty to chronicle the killing of efficient and faith- 
ful officers by these desperadoes. As a class, however, Gen. 
Cook's men have proved quite capable of taking care of them- 
selves, while his ow^n escape from the desperado's bullet, during 
his thirty-five years of active detective life on the border, has 
been little less than marvelous. It can be accounted for only 
upon the ground that he is shrewd enough to detect many dif- 
ficulties before they arise, courageous enough to meet them 
promptly when they do come, and cool and skillful enough to 
give them better than they send when the emergency arises. It 
thus happens that he is alive and prosperous, after serving 
thirty-five years of detective life on the border, when nearly all 
of his old-time companions are dead. He has also trained his 
men so thoroughly that they have learned to protect themselves. 
But the record here presented is not merely one of daring 
and adventure. It is one of hardships and great personal sac- 
rifice as well. It will appear in many of the stories told that 
the events related occurred at a time when there were no rail- 
roads in the country. Gen. Cook and his officers have, since 
the time when he first settled in Colorado, traversed almost the 
entire barren plains and Kocky mountains from Northern Da- 
kota to Southwestern Texas, climbing precipices, stage-coaching, 
horseback riding and w^alking; sleeping out for several nights in 
succession, subsisting for days on the scantiest supply of food, 
and often going from sixty to seventy -two hours without sleep; 
facing the worst of storms, and, indeed, enduring all the priva- 
tions of frontier life, where there are few people, fewer accom- 
modations and much that is trying upon mind and body. Any 
one of the trips, such as those recorded of Gen. Cook in the Britt 
and Hilligoss or Clodfelter and Johnson story, would be suffic- 
ient to use up an ordinary individual, and many would be en- 
tirely unable to endure it. Yet Gen. Cook has put in thirty-five 
years in just such service, ever mindful of the public welfare 


and forgetful of his own comfort and quiet; evei' anxious to 
bring the guilty to punishment and to free the countrj- of the 
human vultures who prey upon it, regardless of his own private 
well-being, and in many cases without hope of reward or ap- 
preciation. That he has in his day done a grand service for the 
people of the state in 'making it a place disagreeable and dan- 
gerous to evil-doers is a truth which many appreciate. His sei*v- 
ices have ever been at 1he command of the people among whom 
he lives, and the stories here told — only a portion of those which 
might be related— best attest that when he has acted he has 
done so in a wav to make the work count. 

I Deacidified using the Bookkeeper process. 
Neutralizing agent: Magnesium Oxide 
Treatment Date: Dec. 2004 



1 1 1 Thomson Park Drive 
Cranljef ry Township. PA 1 6066 
1 (724) 779-21 n